Perhaps the worst part of ordering a pizza is knowing that for a few awkward seconds, you’re going to have to stand face to face with a delivery guy who’s smiling eagerly as he awaits a tip.
In a perfect world, these brave delivery people would be paid enough to not need to beg for scraps from their patrons, but nonetheless, you’re going to feel pretty embarrassed with you don’t have any cash beyond the cost of your pizza to hand to the poor guy.
Domino’s is aware of how awkward this exchange can be, and they’re looking for a solution, by finding a way to fire the delivery driver.
Ouch. That’s not what we wanted at all!
Partnering with Ford, Domino’s is experimenting with self-driving cars that come loaded with delicious pizza – the pizza chefs simply slip your food onto the back seat of the car, and it drives direct to your door, without the need to include a human being at all in the process.
This all feels a little impersonal, which is either fantastic or terrible depending on your opinion of actual human contact. It looks like Domino’s is worried that people might not like the idea of robot drivers, though, so their tests are mainly focusing on whether or not people will accept the idea that all the pizza-driving teenagers across the land will soon be out of work.
According to Sherif Marakby, vice-president of Ford Autonomous and Electric Vehicles:
“Domino’s is actually really focused on the technology aspect of how to improve the delivery business. I think there’s general understanding that autonomous vehicles can enable a lot of things for delivery that will make the whole delivery process easier, simpler and maybe even more user-friendly.”
It feels like this might take some getting used to – we all love cheap pizza, but not having to tip the driver feels like a petty reason to embrace the death of the traditional delivery guy.
Who knows? Maybe this will take off and everyone will embrace it. As long as we’re getting pizza, who cares how many robots were involved in its delivery, right?