- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 10, 2019

McDonald’s announced Tuesday that it will acquire a company that specializes in voice-based, conversational technology in an effort to automate the fast-food chain’s drive-thru service.

McDonald’s has finalized an agreement to acquire the California-based company Apprente, which was founded in 2017 to create “voice-based platforms for complex, multilingual, multi-accent and multi-item conversational ordering,” McDonald’s said in a press release. The new technology is expected to allow for “faster, simpler and more accurate order taking” at the drive-thru, the company said.

“Building our technology infrastructure and digital capabilities are fundamental to our Velocity Growth Plan and enable us to meet rising expectations from our customers, while making it simpler and even more enjoyable for crew members to serve guests,” Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s president and CEO, said in the news release.

Apprente’s gifted team, and the technology they have developed, will form McD Tech Labs, a new group integrated in our Global Technology team that will take our culture of innovation one step further,” he said.

The acquisition marks the latest in McDonald’s efforts this year to use technology to enhance the customer experience, the company said.

In April, the burger chain acquired Dynamic Yield, which creates personalization and decision logic technology that is expected to be integrated into nearly all drive-thrus in the U.S. and Australia by the end of the year.

McDonald’s also invested in Plexure, a mobile app vendor, earlier this year.

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