Pizza giant Domino’s has teamed up with Ford as they test their autonomous vehicles to evaluate an idea they have. They want to trust the job of delivering their pizzas to self-driving cars, and Ford’s Fusion research vehicle seems like the ideal platform.
Granted, if self-driving pizza delivery cars become mainstream they will put a large number of young people out of work. But autonomous cars never smoke pot, stop to chat with friends, or spit in your food because they know you are not a good tipper!
Ford and Domino’s have already developed a system to make the whole thing work. The autonomous car with its Heatwave Compartment uses Domino’s Tracker system to find the customer’s house. As it approaches the destination text message are delivered to the customer with instruction on how to retrieve their pizza and a code that will open the compartment and grants access to the delicious treat. Just about the only flaw we can detect with this system, which they will hopefully address in the production version, is the “You Got It!” the device makes when you enter the code. That is just embarrassing. Over the next several weeks, randomly-selected Domino’s customers in Ann Arbor will have the opportunity to receive their delivery order from a Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle.
“We’re interested to learn what people think about this type of delivery,” said Russell Weiner, president of Domino’s USA. “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? We need to make sure the interface is clear and simple. We need to understand if a customer’s experience is different if the car is parked in the driveway versus next to the curb. 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.”