Ford and Domino’s Pizza have announced a new joint partnership to test autonomous technology, and it’s probably one of the coolest pairings I’ve seen. In an announcement today, the companies said they’d be working together to deliver pizzas using driverless tech, and although it sounds odd, it’s an idea that makes a lot of sense of both brands.
The trial is pretty limited at the moment, and will only take place in America – and specifically the Michigan area. According to Reuters, random customers will have their orders delivered by Ford Fusion Hybrid with driverless tech, and like many driverless trials, the cars will actually start off with human drivers. Dominoes says those waiting for their pizza will be able to track their delivery via GPS, too.
Killing the pizza boy
However, it looks like Domino’s isn’t using AI to get rid of the pizza boy just yet. Domino’s admits driverless tech is advantageous but still doesn’t provide an answer for the last bit of delivery – actually bringing the pizza to your door. To get around that, the new autonomous delivery cars currently send delivery instructions to the customer – so they will have to move a bit.”We’re still focused on the last 50 feet,” said Domino’s spokeswoman Jenny Fouracre told Reuters. “That’s a big challenge – getting (the pizza) from the curb to the door.”
Right now, driverless technology is largely about data collection. Most automakers are using a mixture of testing and machine learning to develop their technology, and the more vehicles they can extract data from, the more progress they will make. Delivery vehicles – especially pizza ones – represent a great pool of data, so it makes perfect sense for Ford to partner up with Domino’s. It is quite funny though.