Domino's to test self-driving cars

Ford and Domino's to deliver pizza using self-driving cars in new test

The cars will still have human drivers behind the wheel and will primarily be tasked with collecting a whole new stream of on-road data about the delivery process, according to Ford VP of Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification Sherif Marakby. It will be interesting to see how they plan to phase out humans in delivery and ride-sharing.

Although the Ford Fusion Hybrid is fully capable of operating itself, it will be operated by an engineer during the tests, and researchers on board will study how customers interact with and react to the driverless vehicle, Fox News reported.

The research would include gauging customer reactions to self-driving delivery vehicles, and understanding how those reactions could change as delivery companies switch over their services to automation.

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Random pizza orderers in the area will be selected to have the opportunity to have their pizza delivered by one of Ford's Fusion Hybrid autonomous cars, which the company has been diligently working on for years. The big question of course is whether people want to walk out of their house to get the pizza out of a driverless vehicle - and is a tip still required?

For its part, Domino's will gain valuable knowledge about how users react to automated deliveries. "We need to make sure the interface is clear and simple", Weiner said in a statement.

After ordering a pizza, a customer will receive a text message when the vehicle arrives at its destination. 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. Each vehicle is equipped with a heated compartment that can carry up to four pizzas and five side dishes. The experiment is a first for Ford. Their pre-existing relationship led to conversations around the potential for AVs in food delivery.

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Firms like Domino's, as well as delivery services like UPS, do face the last-50-foot challenge, however, especially in inclement weather or when dealing with large, cumbersome packages.

"How will customers react to coming outside to get their food?" An autonomous pizza delivery Pirus was an early project of Anthony Levandowski, who once worked on Google's and Uber's self-driving projects before being sued by Google and fired by Uber. But we'll know Ford is truly serious about this specific market if they start testing much smaller vehicles that are custom-built for deliveries.

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