Domino’s Pizza has long celebrated a reputation as the leader in pizza delivery across the globe. Ford Motor Co, of course, is the celebrated innovator behind the automobiles that we drive today. Well, these two companies are teaming up to work on an industry-first collaboration to redefine both of these industries.
That’s right: Domino’s Pizza and Ford Motor Co are working on driverless pizza delivery vehicles.
Domino’s president and CEO, Patrick Doyle comments, “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.”
Thus, the two companies have come together to investigate how customers will react to interactions with an autonomous (self-driving) vehicle as part of the overall delivery experience. Obviously, it is not enough to simply employ new technologies: we need to know how customers will respond to the changes.
Doyle goes on to say, “We pride ourselves on being technology leaders and are excited to help lead research into how self-driving vehicles may play a role in the future of pizza delivery. This is the first step in an ongoing process of testing that we plan to undertake with Ford.”
Ford, of course, has already been hard at work on self-driving cars. This is a desired standard across the automotive industry but this new direction makes a lot of sense. While consumers may not quite be ready to own an autonomous vehicles, delivery vehicles may be a wise place to start implementing the technology. Ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft have also been looking at adding self-driving cars to their fleets, perhaps eventually phasing out some or all of their independent contractors.
Ford Vice President of Autonomous and Electric Vehicles, Sherif Markaby also says, “As we increase our understanding of the business opportunity for self-driving vehicles to support the movement of people and goods, we’re pleased to have Domino’s join us in this important part of the development process. 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.”
In addition, Domino’s USA president Russell Weiner notes, “We’re interested to learn what people think about this type of delivery… We need to make sure the interface is clear and simple. We need to understand if a customer’s experience is different if the car is parked in the driveway versus next to the curb. All of our testing research is focused on our goal to someday make deliveries with self-driving vehicles as seamless and customer-friendly as possible.”