Researchers from Domino’s and Ford will investigate customer reactions to interacting with self-driving vehicles as a part of their delivery experience
Pizza delivery is about to get more interesting for some customers in Ann Arbor, Mich. Pizza giant Domino’s announced it is working with Ford to test the use of self-driving vehicles.
The goal is to understand the role these vehicles could play in pizza delivery. Researchers from both companies will track customer reactions to interacting with a self-driving vehicle as part of their pizza-ordering experience.
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“We’re interested to learn what people think about this type of delivery,” said Russell Weiner, president of Domino’s USA. “The majority of our questions are about the last 50 feet of the delivery experience. For instance, how will customers react to coming outside to get their food?”
Curb-side or driveway service?
“We need to make sure the interface is clear and simple,” Weiner said. “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.”
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Over the next several weeks, randomly selected customers will have the opportunity to have their order delivered by a Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle. The vehicle will be staffed with researchers and driven by a Ford engineer. Customers who agree can track the vehicle via GPS and receive text messages as the vehicle approaches, and be guided on how to retrieve their pizza from the Domino’s Heatwave Compartment inside the vehicle.
Ford plans to begin production of self-driving vehicles in 2021.