Remember the old friendly pizza delivery person who tried to get you that pie within 30 minutes or it was free? Those days are over now and pretty soon the delivery pizza person could be history as well. Currently, Ford and Domino's Pizza are collaborating on research and developing a fleet of self-driving pizza delivery vehicles using an autonomous Ford Fusion hybrid in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The two companies reported this summer that they established a partnership to study how customers will react to receiving pizzas delivered to their door by a self-driven car.
At Anderson Behel, we love pizza and we also love cars here in Santa Clara where come of the delf-driving Domino's vans are currently being used, so we thought our blog readers might find this both interesting and entertaining.
As part of their ongoing research, Domino's customers in Ann Arbor can opt to receive their pizza in a self-driving car, at least to a degree. The Ford Fusion hybrid is equipped with self-driving technology, but will be manually operated by a Ford safety engineer, the carmaker reported.
Domino's clients will be able to track their orders from start to finish through a GPS system and will get a text message when the delivery vehicle approaches, showing them how to unlock and retrieve their pizza from a storage compartment in what would usually be the rear side window of the four-door sedan, all without interacting with an actual human.
Roush Enterprises manufactured the pizza storage compartment based on research it did with the pizza maker for its modified Chevrolet Spark DXP delivery car back in 2015.
Ford has promised to unveil a Level 4 autonomous car in 2021 for commercial use. The carmaker said in a blog post recently that it will be used for the delivery of goods, as well as for services such as ride-sharing, car pooling and ride-hailing.
One thing is 100% certain--self-driving technology will change the way business is performed worldwide. To bring this technology to the consumer market in a seamless fashion, companies like Ford and Domino's will be working to understand how self-driving technology can enable when applied with a human-centered strategy. By working together, they are hoping to build a sustainable self-driving business model that prioritizes the people experience over the technology. It's a tough thing to achieve and only the best minds at Ford are working on it, so stay tuned and get ready for your next combination pie, but please hold the anchovies!