Ford and Domino’s Testing Pizza Delivery In Autonomous Fusion Hybrid

Ford is testing out its self-driving test car through a test project with Domino’s Pizza over the next few weeks.

The pizza delivery giant will have its employees carry out pizza orders for delivery in a Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle.

The test project will run over the next several weeks in Ann Arbor, Mich., near Ford’s self-driving testing grounds. Customers who’ve opted into the test will be able to track the Ford Fusion Hybrid through GPS using Domino’s Tracker app.

A Ford safety engineer will be behind the wheel to make sure it gets there safely and on-time, and researchers will ride along to track the experiential data.

Both companies are very curious about what consumers think about food delivery through self-driving vehicles.

“As delivery experts, we’ve been watching the development of self-driving vehicles with great interest as we believe transportation is undergoing fundamental, dramatic change,” said Patrick Doyle, Domino’s president and CEO.

Ford is taking it very seriously, given that its master plan includes starting production of self-driving vehicles at a larger scale in 2021. Ford executives have been talking about combining electrified, self-driving vehicles to added mobility services. Food and parcel delivery could be part of it.

“As we increase our understanding of the business opportunity for self-driving vehicles to support the movement of people and goods, we’re pleased to have Domino’s join us in this important part of the development process,” said Sherif Marakby, Ford vice president, autonomous and electric vehicles. “As a company focused on the customer experience, Domino’s shares our vision for a future enabled by smart vehicles in a smart environment that enhance people’s lives.”

You can view Ford’s video B-roll to see how it works when the Domino’s employee loads pizza containers on a storage table in the back seat. The customer involved in the test project gets to wait anxiously, tracking motion from the Ford Focus Hybrid on her smartphone. You can also see a photo gallery below.

Local company Roush Enterprises has worked with Domino’s on a delivery vehicle project in 2015. It recently fabricated Ford’s research vehicle with Domino’s Heatwave Compartment, the pizza container being used.

Domino’s and Ford first conducted a preliminary test at Mcity, the simulated self-driving vehicle test track on the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus.

Ford and Domino’s completed preliminary testing of the delivery process using the vehicle in self-driving mode at Mcity, the simulated urban environment on the University of Michigan’s campus.

SEE ALSO:  Ford Self-Driving Cars Could One Day Read Your Body Language

The city of Ann Arbor has been supportive of the pizza delivery test on its streets.

“I’m delighted that Ann Arbor continues to be at the forefront of autonomous-vehicle research,” said Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor. “While it’s pizza delivery today, my hope is that collaborations such as this will enable even more innovations tomorrow.”


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