Domino’s and Ford are teaming up on a high-tech new venture.
You may not have to worry about tipping the pizza delivery guy next time you order a pie—your meal could be delivered in a self-driving car. Domino’s Pizza and Ford are working together to test out driverless pizza delivery cars.
The test project is being conducted in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where randomly selected Domino’s customers can opt to get their pizza delivery from a Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle. Since it’s a test, the car will still have a safety engineer at the wheel and researchers inside to observe.
Participating customers can track their pizza’s progress through GPS and the Domino’s Tracker. The only catch is you’ll have to leave your house to get the pizza—it’s not exactly door-to-door service. When the vehicle gets to its destination, customer's will get a text message telling them how to get the pizza from the car by using a unique code. On one of the backseat doors, there’s a keypad to type in the code that will prompt the window to roll down so you can grab your pizza in the “Domino’s Heatwave Compartment.”
“We’re interested to learn what people think about this type of delivery,” Russell Weiner, president of Domino’s USA, said in a release. “The majority of our questions are about the last 50 feet of the delivery experience. For instance, how will customers react to coming outside to get their food?” All of this research will go into someday making driverless pizza delivery a seamless and customer-friendly possibility, Weiner says.
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This is just one project that Ford is working on when it comes to self-driving cars—the automaker hopes to begin production on a fleet in 2021.