Domino’s Pizza and Ford are collaborating on tests of self-driving pizza delivery cars, according to The Verge.
The Verge reported Tuesday that the joint effort will roll out in Ann Arbor, Michigan during the coming weeks.
Randomly selected Domino’s customers there will have the opportunity to accept pizza deliveries from a Ford Fusion Hybrid autonomous vehicle.
The catch, however, is that the vehicle will not be driving itself but will instead be piloted by a Ford safety engineer.
Other researchers inside the car will examine the last 50 feet of each customers’ experience, according to The Verge.
Ford’s vice president of autonomous vehicles and electrification characterized the study as ethnographic research.
“We don’t want to wait until we get everything done on the tech and remove the driver,” Sherif Marakby said. “We’re trying to start doing the research.”
“We still are working on the technology, because it’s not ready to be put on public streets,” he added. “It’s simulating that the vehicle is in autonomous mode.”
The Verge reported that the study would focus on how people approach the car and how they interact with screens on its exterior for their food.
Researchers will also focus on how willing customers are to venture outside their homes and retrieve their orders from such cars.
Participants, meanwhile, can track their order through a Domino’s app and receive a unique code for their order.
The code will match the last four digits of a customer’s phone number and can be used to unlock the so-called Heatwave Compartment in a car.
The storage area keeps pizzas warm in the back of a vehicle, while information will be communicated through screens and speakers on its outside.
Ford has invested heavily in autonomous technology, and is aiming to getting self-driving cars to market by 2021.
The automaker announced earlier this year that it aims to invest $1 billion in Argo AI, which is an artificial intelligence startup.