Dominos Pizza and Ford are collaborating on a study to understand the role that self-driving vehicles can play in pizza delivery. The autonomous vehicle study includes researchers from both companies investigating consumer reactions to interacting with a self-driving vehicle as part of the delivery experience.
Randomly-selected pizza orders in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area will receive their delivery order fro ma Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle (shown). The car will be manually driven for safety reasons, but will be labeled as a self-driving vehicle and the driver will be masked from view. Researchers will follow up with survey questions for pizza delivery recipients.
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.
Preliminary testing of the pizza delivery vehicle were completed at Mcity, Ford’s self-driving testing grounds on the University of Michigan’s campus. The City of Ann Arbor has given the green light to the delivery tests on public roads.
The Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle was created in collaboration with Roush, who fabricated the prototype vehicle’s pizza container (a Dominos Heatwave Compartment). Roush worked with Dominos in 2015 on a DXP delivery vehicle prototype.
Aaron is an automotive journalist living in Wyoming, USA. His background includes technology, mechanics, commercial vehicles, and new vehicle evaluations. Aaron is a member of several automotive media groups and writes for many well-known publications.