Domino’s and Ford to Test Self-Driving Pizza Cars


Source: Reuters

The pizza chain Domino’s and Ford are teaming up to test self-driving pizza delivery cars.

Michigan will be the lucky state to experience the self-driving vehicles, with random customers in Ann Arbor, Michigan being given the option of having their pizza delivered by the tested cars.

Actually, though the cars won’t be driverless for now. During the testing phase the vehicles will be driven by a Ford safety engineer, with several other researchers in tow to better understand how customers react to autonomous vehicles.

“We don’t want to wait until we get everything done on the tech and remove the driver,” Sherif Marakby, VP of Ford Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification told The Verge. “We’re trying to start doing the research. We still are working on the technology, because it’s not ready to be put on public streets. It’s simulating that the vehicle is in autonomous mode.”

Ford and Domino’s will be looking at how people come outside to pick up their orders from the vehicle and how they interact with the screen outside of the vehicle to get their food. All orders are kept in a ‘Heatwave Compartment’ on the back of the vehicle. Customers use a designated pin attached to their phone number to unlock the compartment and information is given to customers via screens and speakers on the car’s exterior.

“We’re interested to learn what people think of this type of delivery,” Domino’s USA president Russell Weiner said in a statement. “The majority of our questions are about the last 50 feet of the delivery experience.”