Domino’s Pizza, Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) and Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) are collaborating to test self driving pizza delivery cars in Ann Arbor, Michigan to better understand how customers respond to and interact with autonomous vehicles. Randomly selected customers will have the choice to accept deliveries from a Ford Fusion Hybrid autonomous research vehicle that will be driven by a Ford safety engineer with other researchers onboard as well.
Orders can be tracked through the Domino’s app and a unique code can be received that will match the last four digits of a customer’s phone number to unlock the “Heatwave Compartment”, which is a container that keeps pizzas warm in the back of to the car. Information will be communicated through screens and speakers on the exterior of the cars.
This experiment focuses on how willing people are to come outside and pic up their orders, how the approach the car, and how they interact with the screen outside of the vehicle to get their order. This is the first multiple partnership between Ford and other companies to ramp up autonomous vehicle testing. Ford has invested heavily in autonomous technology aiming to bring self driving cars to the market by 2021. Dominos has also experimented with different delivery technologies as well like a Siri-like digital assistant that can receive orders and a team of delivery robots.