This coming September will see Ford and Domino’s Pizza team up in the self-driving market, to test a new initiative in which self-driving vehicles will be used to deliver to customers in the United States.
The test will take place in Michigan, with a focus placed upon the reception from customers to the new method of delivery. A self-driving Ford Fusion Hybrid will conduct the deliveries, but will initially have a human inside the vehicle.
Customers will have the ability to use GPS to monitor the whereabouts of their order, with the old fashioned knock at the door replaced by a text message detailing collection instructions.
Domino’s has been involved previously in work on automating the pizza delivery process, with tests in Australia and New Zealand having already been conducted. The upcoming test will ascertain how customers feel about the automated service that will not be a true door-to-door service.
Ford is proving itself to be bold and energetic in the self-driving space, having expressed interest in working with numerous partners to disrupt processes with the cutting edge technology.
Indicating the prominence of autonomous driving for the automotive giant, the company instated a new CEO in recent months, Jim Hackett, who was the chairman of Ford Smart Mobility at the time. By placing Mr Hackett at the helm, the company has shown that it is poised to be highly active and agile in the emerging market.
Another autonomous driving push from Ford came early this year when the company bolstered its self-driving team with 400 BlackBerry employees. This significant step marked a doubling of the team working on connected-car offerings, and part of the larger transformation of the company overall.
The company has looked into the future in an initiative called ‘City of Tomorrow’, in which it has announced plans that will involve autonomous delivery vehicles combined with drones.