Ford Motor Co. and Dominos Pizza Inc will begin testing consumers' reaction to having their pizzas delivered by self-driving vehicles from September 2017.
This is not the first time with advanced pizza delivery technology. Australia-based Domino's Pizza Enterprises has tested delivery to customers in New Zealand through drone and self-driving robots.
Ford and Domino's will deliver pizzas to randomly selected consumers in a Ford Fusion Hybrid equipped with self-driving technology. In the initial phase, the vehicle will be piloted by human drivers.
Customers will be able to track the vehicle via GPS and will receive text messages on how to retrieve their pizzas once the delivery vehicle arrives.
However, this is not door-to-door delivery service; it will stop outside the customer's house. "We're still focused on the last 50 feet," said Domino's spokeswoman Jenny Fouracre. "That's a big challenge - getting (the pizza) from the curb to the door."
In a blog post last week, Sherif Marakby, head of Ford's autonomous and electric vehicles, indicated the automaker's big ambitions, saying Ford planned to cooperate "with multiple partners" in deploying self-driving vehicles "designed to improve the movement of people and goods."
Ford and Domino's teaming up for delivery of pizzas to customers reflects the growing demand for self-driving cars and how they will adapt to on-demand delivery of different packages, including groceries, prepared food, and beverages.