Pizza Hut has lots of people who deliver pizzas for them.
But if you order from the Robson Street location in Vancouver's West End right now, you might get your pizza delivered by a unique pair: Hugo or Raja.
They're not delivery people. They're not people at all.
They're pizza delivery robots, two (relatively) autonomous four-wheeled pizza delivery vehicles. Right now they're part of a pilot project from Pizza Hut Canada, so they have a person following them to keep an eye on how things go, but they're essentially doing everything themselves.
The delivery bots are even crossing the street on their own. At Robson and Bidwell streets the pair successfully waited for a walk light and then rolled across the crosswalk before making their way down the sidewalk to the Pizza Hut, ready to start their shift. Hugo was first across, while Raja waited for a cycle before heading over.
While the two are an unusual sight, they don't stand out too much on a sidewalk, aside from all the stares they get from other pedestrians. They're only a couple of feet high with a white container/body on four wheels.
They have two eye-like rings of light on their front (that appear to be around a pair of cameras) and a strip of lights around the top of their 'body.' A little yellow flag sticks up at the back to help make them more obvious. They also have a little screen that tells you if they're on a delivery.
And, of course, they have a couple of Pizza Hut Logos on them. They also have the logo of Serve Robotics, a robotics company based in California. Serve Robotics is also working with Uber Eats and on its website says they are working on autonomous sidewalk deliveries. Business magazine Fast Company noted Serve Robotics is one of the "15 tech startups to watch in 2022."
V.I.A. has reached out to Pizza Hut's parent company, Yum Brands, for more information about this pilot program.