Driverless pizza delivery from Domino’s Pizza
Domino’s Pizza has teamed up with the Ford Motor Company to bring you your pizza via driverless cars. At least that’ll save you having to tip anyone.
September 8, 2017
by Canadian Packaging staff
Within the hometown of Ford—Anne Arbor, Michigan—a Ford Motor Company Fusion prototype car will use driverless technology to deliver Domino’s Pizza pie to customers.
Except that there’s going to be a driver. Just in case.
While the Ford company had erred in believing that Michigan did not allow for driverless cars used in commercial operation—it does—it opted to use a human driver to test consumer reaction with the autonomous vehicle.
According to Ford and Domino’s, the vehicle driver will not interact with the customer—reaffirmed by darkly tinted windows on the Focus delivery car.
The customer is still required to use the HMI (human-machine interface) tablet to access their pizza delivery from the Ford Fusion—and that is the interaction Domino’s Pizza wished to observe and analyze.
Domino and Ford worked with Roush Engineering to add a Heatwave thermal compartment to the car, and have added an HMI (human-machine interface) tablet that the customer will use in order to input a code to get their order from within the vehicle.
Domino’s says that a camera inside the Heatwave compartment will confirm if the pizza order has been removed, and if the customer is a safe distance away from the vehicle before pulling away.
Another reason for using a driver in the vehicle, is that area of Anne Arbor has not yet been fully mapped digitally, so the experiment will continue to map the travel area of the pizza deliveries.
The Ford Fusion utilizes lidar (light detection and ranging) as part of its autonomous driving, and the pizza delivering car will have four rotating lidar sensors perched on the roof.
While there is visible signage about the vehicle to inform the customer NOT to touch the lidar sensors, part of the experiment involves human interaction to determine what design issues may need to be addressed to assure customer safety.
Since cash will not be transferring hands to non-existent robotic claw, Canadian Packaging assumes the pizzas are pre-paid before delivery.
This isn’t Domino’s Pizza first foray into high-tech delivery systems.
This past Spring of 2017, Domino’s Pizza in collaboration with Starship Technologies is delivering pizza to customers within a one-mile store radius of select German and Dutch cities via robot and drone technologies. Click HERE.
In October of 2016, a Silicon Valley, California pizza company called Zume (pronounced ‘zoom’), introduced baking-on-the-way delivery vehicles that cook the pizza en route to the customer. Read the story HERE.