Domino’s and Ford have teamed up to make self-driving pizza delivery cars a reality.
Under the newfound partnership, Domino’s Pizza locations in Ann Arbor, Michigan will temporarily put a self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrid into service for deliveries. Randomly selected customers will be given the option to have their pizza delivered by the autonomous car and if they agree, they’ll be able to track the vehicle’s location through GPS – almost like an advanced version of the Domino’s Pizza Tracker. They will also receive text messages as the vehicle approaches that will give them a code to unlock the Domino’s Heatwave storage compartment and retrieve their cheesy wheel of deliciousness.
“As delivery experts, we’ve been watching the development of self-driving vehicles with great interest as we believe transportation is undergoing fundamental, dramatic change,” said Domino’s CEO Patrick Doyle said. “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.”
The prototype vehicle’s ‘Heatwave’ pizza container was developed by Roush Enterprises (it’s not all supercharged Mustangs and tire smoke over at Roush), the same company that helped develop Chevrolet Spark-based Domino’s DXP delivery vehicle back in 2015. The vehicle itself, meanwhile, was developed entirely by Ford and tested on the University of Michigan’s campus to ensure its autonomous systems were working properly. It will be deployed over the next several weeks, so if you’re a resident of Ann Arbor, you just might be lucky enough to have it drop by if you place a Dominos’ order.
“As Ford builds out its business enabled by self-driving vehicles, conducting research with companies, like Domino’s, will be crucial to ensuring that the technology is applied in ways that enhance the customer experience,” a Ford release said. “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 their customers.”
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