As one of the goals for corporate America seems to be having no actual employees, Domino’s Pizza is testing a self-driving pizza delivery car in Michigan.
Domino’s is teaming up with Ford’s Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification division on the test.
According to msn.com, randomly selected customers in Ann Arbor, home to the University of Michigan and Domino’s corporate headquarters, will have the option of accepting delivery from a Ford Fusion Hybrid driven by a Ford safety engineer. The engineer and other staff in the vehicle — this will be one expensive pizza delivery — will primarily focus (that’s a different Ford) on the last part of the drive, when the pizza arrives at the customer.
How does a car hand over a pizza? Glad you asked.
During the test, customers get a code to unlock the Heatwave Compartment in the back of the car, so you have to leave your apartment or house, which, to someone who gets a lot of food delivered, defeats the whole purpose.
But Domino’s, which has nearly 14,000 locations worldwide including dozens in this area, is aware of that and wishes to find out how willing customers are to come outside to pick up their orders (Note to Domino’s: less when it’s raining or they’re wasted) and how they interact with the car when it arrives.
Yelling at the Ford, “Where’s my Stuffed Cheesy Bread, you idiot!” probably won’t be as satisfying as yelling at a minimum-wage employee working for tips.
Sherif Marakby, VP of Ford AV&E, told msn.com that this is the first of multiple partnerships for Ford with companies looking to lay off the people who deliver their products. “The key thing is that our development is going to benefit from these partnerships,” Marakby said. “We will incorporate changes when we launch at scale in 2021, whether it’s perishable or non-perishable deliveries.”
So get ready for the future of chain pizza: You’ll order it on an app, it will be made by a robot and delivered by a car with no driver. And it will be the best thing to ever happen to the neighborhood pizza place.