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Domino's, Ford partner on self-driving pizza delivery test

LBR Staff Writer Published 30 August 2017

Domino's Pizza and Ford Motor have partnered to start a consumer research of pizza delivery using self-driving vehicles.

The trials will begin next month in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The Ford fusion hybrid autonomous research vehicle, which will be manually-driven by a Ford safety engineer and staffed with researchers, will be used for delivering the pizzas.

An updated version of Domino’s Tracker will be used by the customers to track the delivery vehicle through a GPS.

The customers will be able to take their pizzas by unlocking the Domino’s heatwave compartment inside the vehicle through the text messages they receive.

Roush Enterprises, a local utility, designed the heatwave compartment for Domino’s based on its experience with the DXP delivery vehicle in 2015.

Ford will ensure customer experience through its technology and will start the production of the self-driving vehicles in 2021 to meet the requirements of partner companies and customers.

Domino’s president and CEO Patrick Doyle said: “As delivery experts, we’ve been watching the development of selfdriving vehicles with great interest as we believe transportation is undergoing fundamental, dramatic change.

"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."

Domino’s USA president Russell Weiner said: “We’re interested to learn what people think about this type of delivery. 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.”

Image: Dominos to use Ford’s self-driving vehicles for pizza delivery. Photo: Courtesy of THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY