- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Self-driving pizza delivery may become a reality if testing by Ford Motor Company and Domino’s Pizza are successful.

One of America’s most popular pizza franchises plans using autonomous vehicles to deliver food in the years ahead, but the experiments needed to make it happen will take place in the coming weeks. Randomly selected Domino’s customers in Ann Arbor, Michigan, will have the option of receiving orders from test vehicles monitored by Ford safety engineers and researchers.

Domino’s promoted the entrepreneurial endeavor on its Twitter page Tuesday, while Sherif Marakby, Vice President of Ford Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification, discussed details with The Verge.

“We don’t want to wait until we get everything done on the tech and remove the driver. We’re trying to start doing the research,” Mr. Marakby said. “We still are working on the technology, because it’s not ready to be put on public streets. It’s simulating that the vehicle is in autonomous mode. […] The key thing is that our development is going to benefit from these partnerships. We will incorporate changes when we launch at scale in 2021, whether it’s perishable or non-perishable deliveries.”

Russell Weiner, president of Domino’s USA, also released a statement touting the alliance.

“We’re interested to learn what people think about this type of delivery. The majority of our questions are about the last 50 feet of the delivery experience,” Mr. Weiner said.

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