There have been many human advancements throughout the ages that have defined different eras and civilizations: the cavemen building the first wheel, Alexander Graham Bell and the telephone, Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk on live television, etc. But all of them were only leading up to this very moment in time, where humans may actually have pizza delivered to their doors by self-driving cars! The future can only get so much brighter from here.
The Ford Motor Company and Domino’s Pizza teamed up for a special consumer research project test-piloting the role self-driving cars may play in the near future with automated pizza delivery services. Learn more about this exciting collaboration between these two companies, right here at Kentwood Ford!
The Test-Pilot Project
Back in August of 2017, Ford and Domino’s began delivering pizzas to randomly-selected customers in Ann Arbor, Michigan by a Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle. The goal of the project was to investigate customers’ reactions to automated services by the self-driving car as part of the overall delivery experience and what the future may hold for these services. Customers who agreed to participate in the project could GPS-track the delivery vehicle through an upgraded version of the Domino’s Tracker® App. Customers would also receive updates on the vehicle’s ETA via text message, along with instructions on how they can retrieve their pizza as well as a unique code to unlock the Domino’s Heatwave Compartment™ inside.
Earlier this year in February, Ford and Domino’s began expanding the project in Miami, Florida where they began additional testing for the self-driving delivery service and analyzed their business model through the pilot program with Domino’s. The two-month test in the city not only took advantage of the findings from the first round of tests in Michigan, but also incorporated the element of operating in a larger, urban setting. While each city is different in its own respect, Ford and Domino’s chose Miami to develop the project so both companies could eventually roll out self-driving cars in other large metropolitan cities in the near future—by 2021. In the meantime, Ford and Domino’s plan to bring the self-driving Fusion Hybrid to one more city by the end of this year.
Some of the results of the self-driving delivery project brought attention to the different neighbourhoods that the vehicle will encounter throughout its travels. For example, in Michigan, the vehicle often found itself delivering to more suburban neighbourhoods, whereas Miami’s higher population prompted the car to drive through more populated downtown areas with apartment buildings. These findings allowed both Ford and Domino’s to anticipate how the self-driving vehicle would maneuver in different cities and towns with varying populations.
This was just a quick overview of Ford and Domino’s joint venture into automating pizza delivery through self-driving vehicles—we’ve reached new heights of convenience and we’re far from peaking. We at Kentwood Ford hope you’ll take your cheddar (both figurative and literal) and bring it to our dealership and browse our selection of new Ford vehicles! The answer is yes: we do want a slice if you plan on actually bringing pizza to our dealership.