Pizza Hut's conceptual self-driving pizza delivery trucks were foretold by Black Mirror

Screenshot: Black Mirror/Netflix
Screenshot: Black Mirror/Netflix

The Consumer Electronics Show currently taking place in Las Vegas is no doubt unveiling technologies that bring machines closer to invading all aspects of human behavior. Black Mirror’s explorations of this connected future feel eerily prescient to most viewers, and thanks to CES we have proof of it: The self-driving pizza delivery trucks that appeared in this season four episode, blithely mowing down pedestrians, are now in development thanks to Pizza Hut and Toyota.

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The carmaker and pizza giant today announced their partnership to develop a self-driving vehicle concept called e-Palette that could see initial tests in regions across the U.S. as early as 2020.

E-palette rendering (Photo: PR Newswire)
E-palette rendering (Photo: PR Newswire)
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“With Toyota, we are excited to be partnering with an undisputed leader in human mobility with a reputation for innovation, reliability and efficiency, as we define the pizza delivery experience of the future,” said Artie Starrs, president of Pizza Hut U.S., in a totally-not-creepy statement involving the phrase “human mobility.”

The toaster-shaped e-Palette vehicle will make use of Toyota’s proprietary Mobility Services Platform to create a “flexible, purpose-built fully-autonomous vehicle” to deliver pizzas, according to the release. It follows other Pizza Hut innovations including Alexa-enabled ordering and alcohol delivery.

Congratulations, Black Mirror: Thanks to you and The Simpsons, I’ve ditched my crystal ball in favor of your future-predicting abilities.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

livingonvideo
living on video

This was one instance when I saw a future tech on Black Mirror and cried foul. I can’t believe anyone would use this. You’d still have to leave your home to get your pie at the curb, which nulls at least half the convenience of pizza delivery. You’ll have to put on shoes and, depending on your level of modesty, pants (as opposed to the bath robe or sweats you can wear shamelessly indoors). If you’re in an apartment, you’ll have to get all the way to street level first. You might as well choose pickup and avoid the fee at that point. The scene in the episode was in the snow, for crying out loud!