Toyota unveils new fully-autonomous concept vehicle

Pizza Hut may use Toyota's e Palette concept for autonomous pizza deliveries one day.   Toyota

Before the reveal, Toyota announced a partnership with Pizza Hut and suggested that the vehicle could be used to deliver pizza.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is the ideal venue for technology companies, which now very much includes automakers, to show off interesting concepts and ideas that may seem far-fetched to some.

The new mobility service business alliance will leverage Toyota's proprietary Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) to develop a suite of connected mobility solutions and a flexible, purpose-built fully-autonomous vehicle.

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The new alliance will create a broad-based ecosystem of hardware and software support designed to help a range of companies utilize advanced mobility technology to better serve customers.

Case in point? Series four's fast food/dystopian nightmare, Crocodile, featured a self-driving Pizza Van, and just weeks after the episode premiered on Netflix Pizza Hut have announced they plan to launch... you guessed it, an autonomous Pizza Van. The e-Palette is a box-shaped transporter that can have customised interiors to suit its users' needs, be it ride-sharing, goods delivery or on-the-road e-commerce.

"Today, you have to travel to the stores", Toyota president Akio Toyoda said at the event. "Toyota remains committed to making ever better cars".

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Although the vehicle is contained in the drawing board for now, Toyoda said that the company plans to unveil the technology at the 2020 Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo.

The chain's link-up with Toyota is part of a larger collaboration that involves companies including Amazon, Didi, Mazda and Uber. In the a year ago, the company launched voice command ordering through Alexa, the first pizza tracker that includes text messaging and Hut Rewards, the only national pizza loyalty program that awards points for every dollar spent on pizza.

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