Pizza Hut's New Delivery Technology Is Straight Out of 'Black Mirror'
You may remember the self-driving pizza delivery truck from the extra-creepy episode "Crocodile." Guess what? It's here.
Screenshot via Netflix
In a late-December interview with Entertainment Weekly, Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker didn’t disagree with the idea that the self-driving pizza truck seen in the episode “Crocodile” was the show’s best technological innovation. Anyone who winced through “Crocodile” might disagree, especially since that autonomous delivery from Fences Pizza unwittingly led to a number of murders that ended in the most “NO! PLEASE DON’T DO THAT!” way.
Toyota and Pizza Hut must have both skipped that episode. At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the two debuted a sleek, eight-wheeled driverless pod that could someday be responsible for delivering your pan pizza order. “Introducing the first Pizza Hut fully autonomous delivery concept vehicle. Excited for our future with @Toyota,” Pizza Hut enthusiastically tweeted.
The similarities between Pizza Hut’s pod and Black Mirror’s reckless Fences delivery van (no real spoilers here, but it does hit a pedestrian) weren’t lost on those of us who ignored our families in order to binge the show’s new season over the last couple of weeks. Even Black Mirror’s own Twitter account noticed. “We know how this goes,” they responded ominously
Pizza Hut eventually responded “Nah, we aren’t Fences,” which is just what a murderous pizza van would want us to believe. Regardless, Pizza Hut reports that it hopes to test the driverless pod—officially called the e-Palette—in the United States within the next two years.
“In our ongoing and relentless pursuit to own and define the modern pizza experience for our customers, we are focused on technology-based solutions that enable our team members and drivers to deliver even better customer experiences,” Pizza Hut US president Artie Starrs said in a statement. "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."
Actually, Black Mirror seems like it’s already defined the pizza delivery experience of the future, and it looks like it, uh, sucks. Although the commentary from Black Mirror wasn’t helpful, the most savage takedown of the pod came from frozen competitor DiGiorno. “Sweet toaster,” it tweeted.