Domino's, Ford Eye Self Driving Vehicles For Pizza Delivery

Making pizza deliveries with self-driving cars

In the coming weeks, Domino's will offer randomly selected customers in Ann Arbor, Michigan the option to have their food delivered in an autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid (equivalent to the Mondeo Hybrid in the UK).

"I mean, look, to me anything that holds pizza. takes any automobile kind of- to kind of the next level", Domino's United States of America president Russell Weiner told TODAY. But Domino's would like to remove that last part of the delivery process, and instead require customers to walk over to the delivery vehicle and retrieve their own pizza.

The test will use Ford's own Fusion Hybrid cars, fitted with bespoke pizza storage units created by Domino's partner, Roush Enterprises.

If you are chosen as a participant in the study, you will track your order using an upgraded version of the Domino's Tracker, then you will receive text messages that'll tell you how you retrieve your pizza. Domino's will send a unique code for every order, which the customer will use to unlock a special heated compartment in the auto that holds the pizza.

If Domino's Pizza, Inc. For all the chatter about autonomous vehicles replacing humans who drive trucks or delivery vehicles for a living, there's still the matter of getting a package from the road and into the hands of paying customers.

Ford estimates food delivery revenue is expected to grow from $13 billion to $39 billion in the next five years, which could be aided by self-driving vehicles.

The autonomous cars used in this trial will still have someone behind the wheel - safety drivers will be present to ensure everything goes well and to observe, and take over when necessary.

The use of driverless delivery vehicles is a big idea which has gripped the retail industry in the past few years.

If the handoff with a customer is one challenge, so is figuring out what to do with an idled vehicle while the delivery is made. That's what Ford and Domino's say they're really testing. "All of our testing research is focused on our goal to someday make deliveries with self-driving vehicles as seamless and customer-friendly as possible". The joint research will be conducted in Ann Arbor, Michigan, home to the University of Michigan, home to Domino's Pizza and located about 50 kilometres west of Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. He argues that this is "one way that we'll build demand and scale for our autonomous vehicle business, in addition to people movement such as ride hailing".

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