Domino's, Ford Team Up to Test Driverless Pizza Delivery

Your next Domino's pizza might arrive in a'self-driving Ford   Your reaction will be the most important part of the transaction.          

"We've been watching the development of self-driving vehicles with great interest as we believe transportation is undergoing fundamental, dramatic change", Domino's president and CEO Patrick Doyle said in a statement.

Customers will be able to track the delivery via Global Positioning System and they'll get text messages on how to obtain their pizzas once the delivery vehicle has arrived. They'll use one Fusion equipped with all the trappings of a self-driving vehicle, including Ford's full suite of cameras, sensors, radar and LIDAR, to deliver pizza for the month-long test.

The vehicle will be occupied by a Ford safety engineer during the research period.

Would you like to have your next take-away delivered by an autonomous vehicle? Using a real-world test will help gauge assumptions and possibly allow Ford to commercialize their autonomous platform in only a few years.

Food deliveries to the home typically end with someone knocking on your door to hand over the food order.

Customers who participate in the test will get a text message telling them that their pizza is ready. Or do we need to park in their driveway?

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Customers in the Ann Arbor area of MI will be randomly selected for the trials when they place an order.

Ford past year announced plans to launch production of its first fully driverless vehicle in 2021, emphasizing that it will target fleet users, rather than retail customers. They will also be able to keep tabs the vehicle with Global Positioning System via Domino's Tracker feature. The customers will approach the vehicle, they will punch a unique code on a tablet that will be located near the car's back.

Right now, the companies' biggest challenge isn't getting a auto to drive itself - it's getting the pizza from the curb to the door. "Domino's shares our vision for a future enabled by smart vehicles in a smart environment that enhance people's lives", says Sherif Marakby, Ford's VP for autonomous and electric vehicles. "It's about creating that last 50-feet scenario and observing how customers will interact with the vehicle".

That could be a huge market that Ford, with its decades of commercial-fleet expertise, could be in a position to dominate - if it can come up with automated delivery vehicles that work well with human customers. The city of Ann Arbor has also supported the testing process.

Pizza lovers rejoice! Soon your pizza will be delivered via autonomous vehicle - meaning with no drivers - as Domino's Pizza and Ford Motor Co. join forces.