People who earn their living by delivering pizza may have to look for employment elsewhere: Self-driving cars could replace them. Domino's and Ford on Tuesday announced they are testing out self-driving cars as pizza delivery vehicles.
America's largest pizza restaurant chain Domino's will deliver pizza to randomly selected people through a Ford Fusion Hybrid autonomous research vehicle, CNN Tech reported.
An automobile engineer from Ford will still be driving the car manually in order to better understand how to deliver pizza without a driver and deal with the whole gamut of customer reactions when they receive their pizza.
But unlike a delivery boy who brings the pizza to the door, customers in the test will be expected to walk to the parked car and retrieve their pizza. This raises a major concern as it is unclear if the technology will be buyer-friendly.
"How will customers react to coming outside to get their food? ... 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," said Russell Weiner, president of Domino's USA.
Customers will have to enter a number on the touchpad to get their pizzas. A back window will then open up to give the pizza.
Over next five weeks, random customers in the US will get an option of having their pizza delivered via driverless car.
According to an Intel report, this new economic sector will be worth $800 billion a year by 2035, rising to $7 trillion 15 years later.
Potential in India?
Could India be a potential candidate for this technology?
The chances are slim, and the biggest reason could be its reticence to let in driverless cars. "We won't allow driverless cars in India. I am very clear on this," said Union Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari last month.
Besides, high-tech cars will also face infrastructural challenges in India, like its potholed roads and the traffic on them.
However, India's attempt to become technologically driven is still on. A test pizza delivery using a drone was done in Mumbai two months ago. The test delivery was carried out successfully by sending pizza to a customer located 1.5 km away from the pizzeria's outlet.
Watch the video of that delivery here: