Domino’s and Ford Deliver Autonomously

When you think about technology developments in autonomy, you probably think of companies like Uber or Velodyne or Continental or Delphi.

When you think about technology developments in autonomy, you probably think of companies like Uber or Velodyne or Continental or Delphi.

But Domino’s Pizza?

Domino’s, which had global retail sales of some $10.9-billion last year and which has been utilizing technology to help people order more pie—as in creating ordering platforms based on Google Home, Facebook Messenger, Apple Watch, Amazon Echo, and even Twitter—is working with Ford on a project to learn how customers feel about having their pizzas delivered via self-driving vehicles.

Ford and Domino's Autonomous Delivery Research

Patrick Doyle, Domino’s president and CEO, said, “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.”

The initial testing will be performed in Ann Arbor (home to both Domino’s and Mcity) during the next several weeks. Random customers will be selected to have their order delivered via a Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle.

The Fusion will be driven by a safety engineer and in addition to hot pizza, engineers will be on board. (This is the point at which there could be a snide comment about a teenager requiring a regimen of Proactiv behind the wheel. There won’t be.)

Ford and Domino's Autonomous Delivery Research

The customers can track the vehicle with GPS (there is already a Domino’s Tracker capability; this is that on steroids). Text messages will advise them of what to do when the vehicle arrives with their order.

The food will be in the Domino’s Heatwave Compartment. (You may remember that from the Domino’s DXP vehicle, based on a Chevy Spark, that was engineered for Domino’s by Roush Enterprises, which worked on this vehicle, as well http://www.adandp.media/blog/post/how-dominos-delivers .)

Sherif Marakby, Ford vice president, Autonomous and Electric Vehicles: “As a company focused on the customer experience, Domino’s shares our vision for a future enabled by smart vehicles in a smart environment that enhance people’s lives.”