The face of pizza delivery may change forever if new joint experiment in the city of Ann Arbor is successful.

The experiment, due to start this September will see selected Domino’s customers being given the option to have their fresh pizza pie delivered by an autonomous Ford Fusion Hybrid replete with external sensors and emblazoned with ‘research’ vehicle stickers.

‘Lucky’ customers who are chosen to have their pizzas delivered by a self-driving car will be able to track the progress of their delivery via an app and GPS, and will receive instructions on how to access their pizza once Ford’s vehicle has arrived.

We come in pizza.

Track via app and GPS

‘Lucky’ customers who are chosen to have their pizzas delivered by a self-driving car will be able to track the progress of their delivery via an app and GPS, and will receive instructions on how to access their pizza once Ford’s vehicle has arrived.

Writing in a blog post last week, the head of Ford’s autonomous and electric vehicles division, Sherif Marakby (Not a member of any law enforcement agency as far as we can tell) said the experiment wasn’t so much about delivering pizzas but was instead about working with “with multiple partners…[and was]…designed to improve the movement of people and goods”.

Customer-focused

Domino’s concerns were more about making sure that customer’s just got their pizza. Russell Weiner, the president of Domino’s USA, which is based just outside Ann Arbor, (So that’s why they chose there!) said the company’s primary focus was all about that customers got their order, and that the process was “clear and simple.”

“We’re interested to learn what people think about this type of delivery,” he added. “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?

As the new partnership between Ford and Domino’s is only experimental, customers may be surprised at just how unempty the delivery cars will be. As well as having a ‘safety backup’ human driver, the delivery car will also have a team of researchers in the back seat to record and monitor everything that happens.

We can only assume that in the initial test period, that customers living on the the tenth floor will be excluded from the trial.

Fully autonomous fleets

While this is still only an experimental adventure for Ford, they are deadly serious about self-driving cars, claiming that they intend to have fully autonomous fleets running unaided in some states by 2021.