Ford, together with pizza giant Domino’s Pizza are teaming up to better understand what role self-driving vehicles might have in pizza delivery.
During tests, both companies will investigate customer reactions to interacting with an autonomous vehicle during the food delivery process.
“As delivery experts, we’ve been watching the development of self-driving vehicles with great interest as we believe transportation is undergoing fundamental, dramatic change,” stated Domino’s president and CEO, Patrick Doyle.
“We pride ourselves on being technology leaders and are excited to help lead research into how self-driving vehicles may play a role in the future of pizza delivery. This is the first step in an ongoing process of testing that we plan to undertake with Ford.”
Ford is currently on track with their plan to begin building self-driving cars in the year 2021.
“As we increase our understanding of the business opportunity for self-driving vehicles to support the movement of people and goods, we’re pleased to have Domino’s join us in this important part of the development process,” said Ford VP of autonomous and electric vehicles, Sherif Marakby. “As a company focused on the customer experience, Domino’s shares our vision for a future enabled by smart vehicles in a smart environment that enhance people’s lives.”
Over the next several weeks, random Domino’s customers in Ann Arbor will get the change to receive their delivery order from a Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle. There will however be a Ford safety engineer behind the wheel, and other researchers riding on-board.
Customers wanting to participate in these trial runs will be able to track their order through GPS using an upgraded version of Domino’s Tracker. Once the car arrives, the customer receives a text message with a unique code needed to unlock the Heatwave Compartment inside the car.
Domino’s is also looking to find out how customers will react to having to go outside in order to get their food. The pizza giant will also gauge people’s reactions to having the car pull up in their driveway or next to the curb.