Ford, Domino's test self-driving pizza deliveries
Self-driving pizza Domino's and Ford are testing pizza deliveries in self-driving cars. The big question of course is whether people want to walk out of their house to get the pizza out of a driverless vehicle — and is a tip still required? Those living in Ann Arbor, MI. are the lucky few who get to test this new service first. (Domino's is based in the city.) Domino's itself isn't clear whether customers will take to having to meet their pizza on the street. Although they've assured customers that the cars won't accept gratuities.
This is hardly Domino's first taste of using cutting edge tech to bring its pizzas to the masses. The company teamed with delivery service Flirtey to deliver pizzas by drones in a 1.5 mile radius of Whangaparaoa, New Zealand in August of 2016. While that method hasn't put Domino's regular delivery people out of business, the company, like others, are eager to see how automated devices — drones, self-driving cars and robots — could streamline how buyers get products they've ordered, and how companies send them.
Domino's is using Ford's Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle, and from images the car doesn't appear to have the familiar Domino's logo anywhere on the outside. Ford acknowledges that the test is limited — and only a select few customers will find their pizzas sitting in a car near the curb. A special code will be texted to them, telling them how to actually retrieve their munchies from a special heated compartment in the car, says Ford.
"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," said Patrick Doyle, Domino's president and CEO. "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."