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AUG 29, 2017 | ANN ARBOR, MICH.
DOMINO'S® AND FORD BEGIN CONSUMER RESEARCH OF PIZZA DELIVERY USING SELF-DRIVING VEHICLES
Ford

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Aug. 29, 2017 – Domino's Pizza (NYSE: DPZ), the recognized world leader in pizza delivery, and Ford Motor Co. are launching an industry-first collaboration to understand the role that self-driving vehicles can play in pizza delivery.

As part of the testing, researchers from both companies will investigate customer reactions to interacting with a self-driving vehicle as a part of their delivery experience. This research is important as both companies begin to examine and understand customers’ perspectives around the future of food delivery with 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. “We pride ourselves on being technology leaders and are excited to help lead research into how self-driving vehicles may play a role in the future of pizza delivery. This is the first step in an ongoing process of testing that we plan to undertake with Ford.”

As Ford builds out its business enabled by self-driving vehicles, conducting research with companies, like Domino’s, will be crucial to ensuring that the technology is applied in ways that enhance the customer experience. With a plan to begin production of self-driving vehicles in 2021, Ford is taking steps to design a business to meet the needs of both partner companies and their customers.

“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.”

Over the next several weeks, randomly-selected Domino’s customers in Ann Arbor will have the opportunity to receive their delivery order from a Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle, which will be manually-driven by a Ford safety engineer and staffed with researchers. Customers who agree to participate will be able to track the delivery vehicle through GPS using an upgraded version of Domino’s Tracker®. They will also receive text messages as the self-driving vehicle approaches that will guide them on how to retrieve their pizza using a unique code to unlock the Domino’s Heatwave Compartment™ inside the vehicle.

“We’re interested to learn what people think about this type of delivery,” said Russell Weiner, president of Domino’s USA. “The majority of our questions are about the last 50 feet of the delivery experience. For instance, how will customers react to coming outside to get their food? We need to make sure the interface is clear and simple. We need to understand if a customer’s experience is different if the car is parked in the driveway versus next to the curb. All of our testing research is focused on our goal to someday make deliveries with self-driving vehicles as seamless and customer-friendly as possible.”

Local partner Roush Enterprises fabricated the prototype vehicle’s pizza container, Domino’s Heatwave Compartment, based on its experience working with Domino’s on the DXP® delivery vehicle in 2015. 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. The city of Ann Arbor also has been supportive of the testing process.

“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.”

For additional images and b-roll of the vehicle, please go to either media.dominos.com or media.ford.com.
 

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I guess in Transit Connect form, it could have lockers all around cargo area for individual customers. Now that the driver is fired, there should be no delivery fee and no tip, since I have to go outside to get my 'almost' delivered pizza. To make up for fuel costs, it needs to be an EV. The margins on the giant cracker with shavings of meat, veggies, and cheese are huge enough to handle that.
 

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I see. Senior citizens, pregnant women and the physically challenged (I can think of many other classifications of people) will have to dress and go out to pick up their pizza delivery. I wonder how much of an advantage this will be for those who like the occasional convenience of delivered meals. The local Chinese food vendors must be grinning from ear to ear.
 

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LOL at the criticism.
The benefits I see are saving lots of money, knowing right down to the minute when your pizza arrives, not having to greet anyone in your boxers and then wondering about tip amount. Pizza that is delivered hotter and probably quicker. And did I mention cheaper.

This is research, not a Ford and Dominos collusion. Much will be learned no doubt in the process, like, also needing to offer door service as a option for those who either can't come out to the car, or are just too lazy or both.

Something tells be that if this were another brand researching this, that Ford would be criticized instead...... for falling behind.
 

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Although I probably won't see it before I'm old, I look forward to a time when I don't have to own a car and things just show up at my door...or when I have to leave I just summon a vehicle. Sounds like a good way to retire and cut out a wasteful expense.
 

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I guess in Transit Connect form, it could have lockers all around cargo area for individual customers. Now that the driver is fired, there should be no delivery fee and no tip, since I have to go outside to get my 'almost' delivered pizza. To make up for fuel costs, it needs to be an EV. The margins on the giant cracker with shavings of meat, veggies, and cheese are huge enough to handle that.
... And no more porno dreams with the "pizza man"... :angel >:)
 

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Not sure this would work in any city. If I'm in a condo on the 8th floor, it won't deliver, and would have a **** of a time parking anywhere.
How will it work for gated communities?
How will it work where street parking is an issue?
Will it come up long driveways, and then not be able to turn around?


There are just too many intangables to work out here.


And Wings...if you are in your boxers, you'll have to get dressed to go out to the road!
 

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Not sure this would work in any city. If I'm in a condo on the 8th floor, it won't deliver, and would have a **** of a time parking anywhere.
How will it work for gated communities?
How will it work where street parking is an issue?
Will it come up long driveways, and then not be able to turn around?


There are just too many intangables to work out here.


And Wings...if you are in your boxers, you'll have to get dressed to go out to the road!
Having boxers on has not stopped me before:wink2::wink2:

Regarding the delivery to gated communities, I imagine they would still retain some drivers.
 

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Thinking a bit more about autonomy, I think Ford recognizes that it will proliferate quicker than people think, in this Amazon shopping/delivery world. Fleet sales should be huge for autonomy. Ford seems to recognize this with early research like this. I like how this will work btw...... so the vehicle has GPS that sends you time estimate for pizza arrival. As it gets closer, they text you a code to unlock the pizza storage oven upon arrival.
 

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Just thinking about my drive home yesterday, and how a driverless car would have reponded to three situations.


1. Mail truck stopping at each resident mailbox to deliver (would it pass or be stuck behind)
2. Trash truck blocking and half blocking lane. Trashman hand signal for me to pass (no idea what it would do)
3. Driver double parked, waiting for someone, no hazard lights on. (will it cross into oncoming lane to proceed)


And one more this morning.


Stalled car at stop sign. hood up, but no hazard lights again. (I had to wait for clear, move to oncoming lane, and then proceed. Lord knows what a driverless car would do)
 

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Just trying to figure this out.

It's got to be quite expensive for Ford to offer a custom low volume vehicle the load it up with self driving tech just to deliver $10 pizzas. A pizza delivery person can earn $15k full time, and the vehicle will have to cost the pizza company at least 3 times that much, along with vehicle maintenance. While at the same time having to hire someone to manage the self driving car remotely. So not only does the delivery driver lose his job, but he loses his tips as well. While the customer has to get dressed, leave their apartment, go down stairs, out the door, and out to the street or parking lot to get their 'delivered' pizza.

Where is the upside for the consumer?

It's just interesting that Ford's focus is eliminating the jobs of delivery drivers, instead of offering EVs that cut the long term cost per mile and maintenance.
 

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It's mostly a proof of concept than a real business plan, they aren't getting into the Pizza delivery business but it's a scalable real world example to test out Autonomous technology...or to at least showcase that Ford is working on it. They just had another press-push today to highlight the work they are doing, focusing now on Atlanta since it's the most congested city in the US which is where Ford wants to test the tech next.

It's amazing how many companies are duplicating research on autonomous technology right now.
 

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I have a HUGE issue with this...





... Domino's pizza SUCKS!!!

Back when I was a young Jarhead fresh out of boot camp and four of us could order two extra large pizzas for $10 it was tolerable. If this is what Ford considers to be a quality partner then I fully understand how they ended up behind the 8-ball once again after having the world by the balls.

*Mostly kidding, except about the Domino's sucks part.
 

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It's mostly a proof of concept than a real business plan, they aren't getting into the Pizza delivery business but it's a scalable real world example to test out Autonomous technology...or to at least showcase that Ford is working on it. They just had another press-push today to highlight the work they are doing, focusing now on Atlanta since it's the most congested city in the US which is where Ford wants to test the tech next.

It's amazing how many companies are duplicating research on autonomous technology right now.
The duplication of investment dollars in autonomous tech is insane, but competition is never a bad thing IMO.
 

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It's mostly a proof of concept than a real business plan, they aren't getting into the Pizza delivery business but it's a scalable real world example to test out Autonomous technology...or to at least showcase that Ford is working on it. They just had another press-push today to highlight the work they are doing, focusing now on Atlanta since it's the most congested city in the US which is where Ford wants to test the tech next.

It's amazing how many companies are duplicating research on autonomous technology right now.
Interesting...I guess since actual consumers are not too interested in actually riding in driverless car, Hackett included, it's just driving around merchandise. I think it's going to be a long, long time before consumers are willing to sit in a car without a steering wheel or brake/accelerator peddles and give up ALL control of the vehicle. I think the race to autonomy should take a back seat to the race to full EV vehicles. 'Some' automakers just might be putting the horse before the cart.

Just doing the math, offering full EV drivetrains for commercial and consumers offers greater drivability and financial benefits than autonomy with old school ICE or old school hybrid where both still brings with it the cost of maintenance and additional design/manufacturing costs.

Tesla has the right plan....offer full EV technology and let the consumer benefit from that, then add autonomy and slowly allow the customer to acclimate. But I do understand the ICE manufacturers have ICE models to sell today, but new models should be full EV so the consumer has that benefit, then add autonomy as consumers gain a comfort level or actually ask for it.

Another interesting thought......are consumers actually asking for autonomy?
 
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