The Domino effect
American pizza giants Domino’s and car manufacturers Ford Motor Co have recently announced they are teaming up in a new project that aims to deliver pizzas in an altogether fresh way…
The development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the future of travel are two topics that are rarely out of the headlines. Domino’s and Ford have taken note of this and joined forces to deliver to self-driving pizza cars, bringing fresh pizza to your door (or road) autonomously, in an industry first.
The announcement, delivered in a joint press release, explained that the two business heavyweights will begin consumer research by launching Ford’s self-driving Fusion test vehicles to consumers, initially restricted to Ann Arbor, Michigan. The research will aim to understand customers’ perceptions of the future of food delivery, and to test how they interact with the self-driving vehicles in order to decide whether the move would be a positive one.
The research will be conducted across a span of the next few weeks and will target randomly-selected fast-food customers of Domino’s in Ann Arbor. Those selected have the option of taking delivery of their order from a Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle. The new driverless order system befits from an advanced GPS Dominos Tracker, and customers will also receive text updates on the progress of their order. Once the vehicle is in close range customers will receive instructions, along with a special code to unlock their meal from the newly designed Domino’s Heatwave Compartment inside the car.
“We’re interested to learn what people think about this type of delivery,” commented president of Domino’s USA, Russell Weiner “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.”
Whilst the announcement might seem like an innocent (and fun) experiment into future food delivery, the broadcast of further moves towards to AI is alarming to many. The fear of low level and even middle management jobs being replaced with robots is an all too common headline at the moment as we struggle to come to terms with a new machine revolution.
The truth is that while many of us are happy to accept that AI can help improve efficiency and customer service, not everyone is as receptive to the idea of far more mechanical future. Computers entering the workforce could have huge domino effect on the amount of human labour required, across countless industries. Dr Carl Benedikt Frey and Professor Michael A. Osborne of The University of Oxford estimated in 2013 that 47% of US jobs are at risk due to “computerisation”, emphasising why not everyone may be open to new change…
Ford and Domino’s foray in to the reaction that driverless delivery might spark could certainly throw some interesting arguments into the mix.