Domino's Pizza and Ford are launching an industry-first collaboration to understand the role that self-driving vehicles can play in pizza delivery.
As part of the testing, researchers from both companies will investigate customer reactions to interacting with a self-driving vehicle as a part of their delivery experience.
With a plan to begin production of self-driving vehicles in 2021, Ford is taking steps to design a business to meet the needs of both partner companies and its customers.
“As we increase our understanding of the business opportunity for self-driving vehicles to support the movement of people and goods, we’re pleased to have Domino’s join us in this important part of the development process,” said Sherif Marakby, Ford vice president, Autonomous and Electric Vehicles.
Over the next several weeks, randomly-selected Domino’s customers in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA, will have the opportunity to receive their delivery order from a Ford Fusion (aka Mondeo) Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle, which will be manually-driven by a Ford safety engineer and staffed with researchers.
Customers who agree to participate will be able to track the delivery vehicle through GPS using an upgraded version of Domino’s Tracker. They will also receive text messages as the self-driving vehicle approaches that will guide them on how to retrieve their pizza using a unique code to unlock the Domino’s Heatwave Compartment inside the vehicle.