Ford and Domino’s have teamed up to see how people interact and react to a pizza delivered by an autonomous vehicle.
Self-driving cars will be delivering pizzas in the greater Ann Arbor to randomly selected Domino’s customers. Additionally, the partnership serves as an opportunity for innovation in the pizza box industry; Roush Enterprises has designed special boxes to keep the pizzas warm on the journey and to unlock when customers type in a unique delivery code.
TechCrunch reports on these companies’ motivation:
Both Ford and Domino’s will be using the test to see how people react to receiving pizzas via self-driving vehicles. Ford considers the customer and user experience aspects of autonomous driving technology a core part of the overall platform it’s developing, Ford Autonomous and Electric Vehicles VP Sherif Marakby tells me, and it’s using this real-world trial to test its assumptions and help it develop that aspect of the product it hopes to commercialize in just a few years’ time.
“The unique thing is that we’re doing this ethnographic research in parallel to developing the AV tech itself,” Marakby said. “The reason we’re doing that is that we’re going to learn things we didn’t know, and we want to have the opportunity from a timing perspective to incorporate these changes into the car, or the interface to the car and the consumer interaction.”
Ford and Domino’s have worked together in the past, making a way for Ford drivers to order pizzas with Ford’s in-car SYNC software. The partnership is fitting, since both companies are interested in how vehicles can provide the best customer experience.
Top image via TechCrunch.