Autonomous Pizza?

This past weekend I was surprised to discover one of the latest applications being explored for autonomous, self-driving vehicles.  Right here in Michigan, Domino’s Pizza has partnered with Ford to test out self-driving cars for pizza delivery.

Domino’s displayed their Ford Fusion delivery vehicle at this weekend’s Ann Arbor Tech Trek event on Mobility Row.

How does it work you might ask? Domino’s supports multiple ordering options these days. Of course there is the traditional method of calling in your order.  But there are more ways now to get the pizza you crave.

Have an Amazon Echo?  You can now order your pizza by asking Alexa.

How about more options? Google Home, Slack chat, Messenger, text message, tweet, from your smart TV, even from your smart watch.  Check out all the options at Domino’s Anyware.

How would delivery work?

The self-driving car would meet you at the location provided where you would access the touch screen device mounted by the rear passenger door.  Upon entering the last four digits of the phone number the back window will open providing you access to your pizza.  The vehicle would accept payment as well so no need to pay ahead of time.

When talking about this new technology with someone this weekend he said, “Why not drones?”

That is a good point.  He went on to explain UPS has been experimenting with drone deliveries of up to ten-pound packages.

What do you think?  Which option makes the most sense?  Does one seem better than the other depending on certain cases?

Some considerations I thought of are:

  • Distance – what service area can a drone cover before needing a recharge?
  • Cost – would the drone be cheaper to operate than the self-driving car?
  • Weather – rain, cold weather, will these be an issue for the drone?
  • Multiple deliveries – a drone could probably only do one delivery at a time before returning for the next pick up where a car could be specially equipped to allow for multiple orders to be delivered along a common route

In either case, it is an interesting thought to see how pizza could be delivered in the future.

Let me know what you think?

2 Replies to “Autonomous Pizza?”

  1. I wonder how does pizza traffic can be managed in the sky? I would use the drones to handle car accident calls as a communication service, that requires less traffic and it gets faster 😉

  2. That is a great idea. The drones creating an extended means of managing deliveries and any incidents that arise. It will certainly be interesting to see how this develops for Domino’s as well as other companies employing AI/Autonomous/Drones.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Antonio!

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