WATCH: Love pizza? This Toyota bakkie is transformed into an awesome pizza-making factory

<i>Image: Magazine Features</i>
<i>Image: Magazine Features</i>

Appearing at Toyota’s 2018 Speciality Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show display - a one-of-a-kind, zero-emission Tundra PIE Pro is a mobile pizza factory that takes the party wherever it goes.

"As the flagship Toyota truck, the Tundra is a workhorse in the truest sense. Its great strengths are its extreme capability and eminent versatility, and what better way to illustrate that than by turning it into something completely unique - a hydrogen fuel cell electric-powered, pizza-making robotic vehicle," said Ed Laukes, Group Vice President - Toyota Division Marketing.

Pizza on the go

The Tundra PIE Pro was built by Toyota’s Motorsports Technical Center (MTC). The overall project included cooperation from its Plano, Texas, neighbour Pizza Hut, along with engineering from Nachi Robotic Systems.

READ: Kia Motors set to debut a one-of-a-kind Stinger and luxurious K900 at the SEMA car show

The starting point was a Tundra SR5 that was torn down to a bare rolling chassis and then reassembled from the ground up. The conventional petrol-powered drivetrain was removed and replaced with a hydrogen fuel-cell electric power unit adapted from the Toyota Mirai.

The Tundra’s loadbay has been converted into a virtual pizza factory on wheels - what MCTI calls The Kitchen. Totally self-contained, The Kitchen comprises a refrigerator, a pair of computer-guided articulating robotic arms, and a portable, high-efficiency conveyor oven. Like the truck itself, all Kitchen components can be powered by hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrain.

Genius invention

From start to finish, the pizza-making process takes between six and seven minutes. When the process begins, the first robotic arm opens the refrigerator and removes the selected pizza, places it on the oven conveyor, and returns to close the refrigerator door.

Tundra PIE Pro

                                                                    Image: Magazine Features

The pizza is then conveyed through a high-speed ventless oven. On the far side, a second robotic arm removes the finished pie, places it on the cutting board, divides it into six identical slices, boxes it up, and delivers it to the customer awaiting on the side of the Tundra.

The Tundra PIE Pro’s environmental impact is virtually nil - the only by-products being water vapor emissions and delicious Pizza Hut pizza.

"We’ve had a hand in putting together all sorts of custom Toyota vehicles over the years, from high-performance racecars to one-of-a-kind show vehicles, but the concept and technology used in this Tundra presented a unique challenge," said MTCI’s Marty Schwerter.

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