Since pizza is one of life's most valued treasures, its makers want to make ordering it as easy as possible. These days, there are almost as many ways of ordering pizza as there are toppings. The latest method? In a collaborative project, Pizza Hut and Visa tested ordering with connected cars, a technology that would let you purchase a pie while driving without a phone, laptop, or even your hands. It's the perfect ordering method for anyone who's ever driven around and thought, "Hey, you know what would be really good right now? Pizza." Which is all of us.
Visa announced the new project on Monday at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where they will demonstrate this new connected-car technology. The car, whose prototype is being built by tech consulting company Accenture, will feature Interactive Voice Control (IVR), which will allow you to tell your car your order without pressing any buttons; Visa's online payment service, Visa Checkout, installed in its dash; and menu options from Pizza Hut, which will use beacon technology (via Bluetooth) at its locations to determine when the customer will arrive. Accenture is overseeing the integration of this beacon technology.
Baron Concors, chief digital officer of Pizza Hut, said in a statement:
We’re committed to offering speed and convenience to our customers when ordering online and this new connected car technology is the latest way for us to do that.
Connected-car ordering is not only about convenience, but also promotes safety; you won't ever have to take your hands off the wheel to dial. All your attention can remain where it should be: on the road and between which meats you want on your pizza. Visa, Accenture, and Pizza Hut will do a three-month test run of their connected-car technology in Northern California starting in the spring.
While the preliminary testing will be focused on food, Visa is hoping that this technology can expand to other areas of e-commerce. Bill Gajda, senior vice president of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships for Visa said in a statement:
By 2020 it is estimated that more than 250 million vehicles worldwide will include some form of embedded connectivity. As the number of connected cars on the road increases, so does our ability to bring secure online commerce to consumers everywhere. We initially focused on a specific use case — ordering a meal on your way home — but we envision a world where consumers can seamlessly make many of their everyday purchases from the car.
Starting with pizza? We like where your head is at, Visa. As for other uses, Visa is hoping to apply this technology for other in-car purchases, like gas and parking. Again, I'm really impressed that Visa viewed its options — very practical and car-centric purchases like gas and parking and then pizza — and went with pizza first. That's the kind of innovative thinking this world needs. Images: Dennis Wilkinson/Flickr; Getty Images (2)