Ford and Domino’s have partnered on a new research trial to study how consumers interact with deliveries made by autonomous vehicles.
In the recent past, fast food franchises and technology have met on some particularly fascinating intersections; such as McDonald’s work on cardboard VR headsets and KFC’s endeavours with battery pack-equipped chicken box sets. Now, Ford and Domino’s have partnered up to test a fleet of self-driving pizza delivery vehicles.
TechCrunch reports that Ford’s Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Cars are being leveraged in a new trial series wherein the vehicles will ferry pizzas to consumers in unique containers. The vehicles will be dispatched to randomly selected consumers in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States.
Speaking on the goals of the trial, Ford Autonomous and Electric Vehicles Vice President Sherif Marakby told TechCrunch that “Usually, in the auto business, you know the customer and you’re planning certain things for the consumer… In this case, we’re still trying to understand, and we’re working with partners who understand the consumer and figuring out what we need to do to the vehicle in parallel as we’re developing the tech.”
Marakby continued to say that “Ford is developing the autonomous vehicle technology, and Domino’s is actually really focused on the technology aspect of how to improve the delivery business. I think there’s general understanding that autonomous vehicles can enable a lot of things for delivery that will make the whole delivery process easier, simpler and maybe even more user-friendly.”
The tests follow Domino’s earlier efforts in Australia, wherein the company trialled pizza delivery by way of autonomous robot. Marakby clarified that Ford’s vision is to create fleets of autonomous vehicles able to service different industries by 2021.
What are your thoughts? Would you accept pizza delivered by an autonomous vehicle? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below!