Ford, Domino's test self-driving pizza deliveries

Making pizza deliveries with self-driving cars

Over the next few weeks across Ann Arbor in MI, in the United States, randomly selected Domino's customers will get the opportunity to have their order serviced via a Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle.

Then, the customer will be able to track the delivery vehicle via Global Positioning System using an upgraded version of Domino's Tracker app, and guided through the pickup process through text messages. You might find yourself wondering where your fave delivery person is the next time you go outside to pick up your pizza order, because Domino's is about to shake up the delivery game.

Ford is teaming up with Domino's to test out pizza delivery with a fleet of self-driving cars in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Your local pizza delivery guy could be out of a job in the next few years. Otto, a startup backed by Uber, delivered 50,000 cans of Budweiser beer from a self-driving truck in Colorado last fall.

Additional issues include how the vehicle is placed for customer access to their order, with the overall goal of making self-driving delivery vehicles a viable possibility and a new option for customers who may appreciate not having to make awkward conversation on their doorstep while paying the pizza guy. The vehicle won't be winging through without any human occupant, though: A Ford safety engineer will be behind the wheel, and the auto will only be truly "autonomous" as it pulls into the driveway. Experts have said that delivery services will likely be among the first industries to widely adopt self-driving vehicles. While that method hasn't put Domino's regular delivery people out of business, the company, like others, are eager to see how automated devices - drones, self-driving cars and robots - could streamline how buyers get products they've ordered, and how companies send them. "We think we are the right company, and we certainly are working with the right partner to make this happen".

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Waymo, the Google spinoff, is now testing its self-driving technology in the Phoenix area, using specially modified Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans for a ride-sharing pilot program.

Domino's "shares our vision for a future enabled by smart vehicles in a smart environment that enhance people's lives", he added.

"I'm delighted that Ann Arbor continues to be at the forefront of autonomous-vehicle research", Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor said in a statement.

Ford and Domino's did preliminary testing for the human-free delivery process at Mcity, a simulated city environment on the campus of the University of MI.

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