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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Within Next Five Years Your Pizzas Will Probably Be Delivered by Autonomous Cars, Domino's Pizza CEO Says (thestreet.com) 210

In an interview with The Street, Domino's Pizza outgoing CEO Patrick Doyle said in three to five years at the earliest he expects driverless cars and voice orders to shift the way the world orders pizza. From the report: "We have been investing in natural voice for ordering for a few years. We rolled that out in our own apps before Amazon launched Alexa and Alphabet launched Google Home...[and] we are making investments...to understand how consumers will want to interact with autonomous vehicles and pizza delivery," Doyle said.
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Within Next Five Years Your Pizzas Will Probably Be Delivered by Autonomous Cars, Domino's Pizza CEO Says

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  • title says it all

    • Title schmitle (Score:5, Informative)

      by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Wednesday January 17, 2018 @11:00AM (#55946085) Homepage Journal

      This is /.; don't trust the title.

      The title says "Within Next Five Years Your Pizzas Will Probably", while the actual quote was "in three to five years at the earliest". That's two very different statements.

      Either the editor can't read, or makes deliberately false statements in order to gain clicks.

      • by houghi ( 78078 )

        It is wishfull thinking "Within the next 5 years I will probably leave my moms basement."

      • Are "clicks" cryptocurrency?

      • LOL!

        It's not the first time a /. title fails or is modified for effect. In this case at least they used "probably", so they can get away with anything because that word turns everything speculative.

      • Why bother with self-driving cars? I am waiting for self-driving Pizzas!
  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Wednesday January 17, 2018 @10:39AM (#55945895)

    So I have to walk out and not have it at the door? I may as well pick it up or better yet pay more for better pizza at some other place.

    • by hipp5 ( 1635263 )

      So your logic is that if you have to walk 20 feet, you might as well walk 20 feet, get in your car, drive for 10 minutes, walk another 20 feet, wait around for them to bring the pizza out, walk another 20 feet back to your car, drive another 10 minutes, and then walk another 20 feet?

      • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday January 17, 2018 @10:54AM (#55946015)

        I think the logic is rather that if I ask for delivery, I want delivery. If Domino's does not provide this, I'll order from someone else who does.

        • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

          This. When I ask for delivery I mean for someone else to bring it to my door. I don't want to leave the house. In other words, I don't want to get dressed, put on shoes and walk out to the curb.

          • Or, if you're living in an apartment complex, get dressed, wait for an eternity for the damn elevator, spend another eternity in said elevator, pick up the pizza, go through the elevator ritual again, find out that you forgot your door keys inside...

            I prefer to have the pizza guy do the elevator dance.

            • I wonder if the better solution in that case would be to have a drone do the delivery to the balcony. That would be a lot more efficient in general because the delivery person has to wait for the damned elevator instead of you.
              • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

                Drones and pizza delivery are a match made in haven. I believe good drones have a 24 km endurance. That should be perfect for pizza delivery.

                • I don't think you'd even need that much range. Have a truck drive to a central area for multiple delivers and have a drone take it from there instead of having a constant back and forth. If there's enough demand you could have multiple drones operate out of a central truck. Hell, eventually you might be able to put the entire kitchen in the truck.
                  • Or you could build drone-only pizza kitchens in more places to cover all the area within the range of drones. Since a kitchen is almost always the smallest area occupied within a regular restaurant, it would cost a lot less to operate. There's probably savings to be made on permits and other things, too.

          • by ls671 ( 1122017 )

              In other words, I don't want to get dressed...

            So you answer the door naked when you order pizza?

            • by 228e2 ( 934443 )
              Don't you? TV has taught me this is how to get away without paying.
            • Umm... yeah.

              Thinking about it, I did consider it odd that the delivery guy tipped me instead of me tipping him last time...

            • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

              I have. Your point?

            • by arth1 ( 260657 )

              So you answer the door naked when you order pizza?

              No, but I may be in my humble PJs. And it might be -20 outside, or raining sideways. And my driveway is long.
              Or, I may be on crutches, in which case getting a pizza from the curb to the kitchen table is rather challenging.
              In any case, I'd rather pay someone willing to do it a tip.

          • by Kjella ( 173770 )

            This. When I ask for delivery I mean for someone else to bring it to my door. I don't want to leave the house. In other words, I don't want to get dressed, put on shoes and walk out to the curb.

            I'm sure they'll find a market without you. Like back when I didn't own a car or when I've had a few beers. For me it's more the "fit for socializing" aspect, like if I haven't showered, haven't shaved, hung over, dirty/sweaty clothes and just want to chow down a pizza in front of the TV or PC. Personally I'd rather get my slob ass down to the curb with zero social interaction than greet the pizza delivery guy like that, in fact I might just opt for a frozen pizza instead. A small physical discomfort becaus

            • Personally I'd rather get my slob ass down to the curb with zero social interaction than greet the pizza delivery guy like that,

              It's nice that you live in a place with no neighbors at all. Otherwise, you cannot guarantee "zero social interaction". You're going to the curb, and there are people driving by in cars -- some of them you might know. All of them will see you at your, umm, best? If you are in an apartment building, you could run into any of your neighbors, even the cute girl you're trying to hit on.

              With to-the-door delivery, you know the social interaction you will have. One person, who you are paying, and unless your frie

            • by jwhyche ( 6192 )

              I'm sure they will do just fine with out my patronage. An so will I. It is not like domnos is the only game in town for pizza delivery. Plus its not like delivery is the only option I have. Good thing about having other drivers in my household that I can tell to go get me a pizza. So there are plenty of options for pizza with out leaving the house.

        • "If Domino's does not provide this, I'll order from someone else who does."

          Doesn't matter to me. If I want a Pizza I sure won't order one from Domino's not even if they'd drone it beside my lazyboy.

          • If I want pizza I also wouldn't call Domino's. But from time to time I order there and get that ... whatever food that is they are delivering.

      • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

        So your logic is that if you have to walk 20 feet, you might as well walk 20 feet, get in your car, drive for 10 minutes, walk another 20 feet, wait around for them to bring the pizza out, walk another 20 feet back to your car, drive another 10 minutes, and then walk another 20 feet?

        It what twisted Escher world or yours is the the front do of an apartment on the 10th floor of a building no more than 20 feet away from where an automated vehicle will drop off he pizza that you ordered?

        • Its almost like we have multiple communities and cultures, and something that works for one might not work for all.

          Also, maybe having autonomous delivery doesn't mean drivers no longer exist. Like a gradual rollout to the areas that make the most sense, and leaving people to do the apartments.

          • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

            Its almost like we have multiple communities and cultures, and something that works for one might not work for all.

            Do you mean the sort of thing take totally invalidates hipp5's absolutist statement?

            Also, maybe having autonomous delivery doesn't mean drivers no longer exist. Like a gradual rollout to the areas that make the most sense, and leaving people to do the apartments.

            Funny how TFA has this quote:

            Will people come out of their homes and apartments to get the pizzas, what do we need to do to make that process seamless. You have seen some of our work public on that. We want to be at the forefront.

    • So I have to walk out and not have it at the door? I may as well pick it up

      To be clear, are you one of those self-centred people who live directly opposite a Dominos and still orders takeaway? If so your comparison is quite silly.

      • To be clear, are you one of those self-centred people who live directly opposite a Dominos and still orders takeaway?

        He's probably one of those self-centered people who figures if he's paying delivery prices he deserves actual delivery and not "pretty close". He probably also thinks that if he's got to get presentable to go out in the weather to get his pizza, he might as well go someplace good.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Wednesday January 17, 2018 @10:40AM (#55945905)
    Part of the reason delivery works today is that shops rely on people desperate enough to try to make tip money as drivers during slow hours, essentially burning up gas, smokes and their own car shuttling food around town. If shops had to buy and maintain a couple of high-tech, breakdown-prone cars instead of letting a couple of near-deadbeats hang around the back door I can see their profit margins taking a dive.
    • by hipp5 ( 1635263 ) on Wednesday January 17, 2018 @10:46AM (#55945953)

      Quick, someone call the CEO of the pizza chain with 11,000 stores and tell him he's making a huge mistake! He needs to see OP's post ASAP so that he can take its lesson on pizza economics to heart and avoid making a grave mistake on his company's future.

      • The CEO could give two shits if he's pushing the costs off on franchise owners. It's the local owners whose margins would be shaved.

        Take a look at this then get back to us:
        https://biz.dominos.com/web/public/franchise
        http://lmgtfy.com/?q=franchise
      • Didn't you know that every Slashdot poster is far more knowledgeable about any subject than people who have spent years or even decades working in their field?
      • You're assuming that the CEO is truly interested in autonomous vehicles, and not just chasing the latest trend just to get some free publicity for his brand.

    • by ebrandsberg ( 75344 ) on Wednesday January 17, 2018 @11:33AM (#55946357)

      I wonder if someone will take up the banner and provide a food delivery service for many restaurants, so that each store doesn't have to buy their own vehicles. Oh wait... https://www.ubereats.com

      • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

        I wonder if someone will take up the banner and provide a food delivery service for many restaurants, so that each store doesn't have to buy their own vehicles. Oh wait... https://www.ubereats.com/ [ubereats.com]

        Or Grubhub and countless other businesses. Hell, we had something like that 25 years ago when I was a little kid. It's not at all a new concept.

    • I agree with you - back in the early 80's, while in college I worked at a Godfathers Pizza. We delivered and used company cars. (Chevy Citations, if remember). When the cars would brake down, we would refuse to drive our own vehicles because it cost us money, decreasing our take home. It astonishes me today that anyone would use their own vehicle for delivery, the payback isn't there unless you're desperate.
      Fast forward to today, people are willing to take on the expense and liability of using their ow
      • , people are willing to take on the expense and liability of using their own vehicles for work.

        Like the Uber and Lyft cab companies?
    • Part of the reason delivery works today is that shops rely on people desperate enough to try to make tip money as drivers during slow hours

      What is wrong with America that you have to tip for a company to survive. Also having worked for a Pizza joint for 3 years ... you pay for your own gas, and WTF don't you get a company car with advertising? What the heck is wrong with you.

    • Not to mention that they're not generally insured properly, much like the Uber drivers.
  • to understand how consumers will want to interact with autonomous vehicles and pizza delivery

    I'm betting they want free pizzas to be delivered to thier door by a sexy robot who got there in an autonomous car. I'm also guessing the autonomous car loaded with fresh pizza at night in many neighborhoods will fare about as well as that new 5th grader who wet his pants during his introduction to home room class.

    • Reminds me of a Shadowrun RPG dialogue.

      Dwarf: Who you calling?
      Troll (on the phone): Domino's.
      Dwarf: What? Why?
      Troll: Well, I'm hungry, you need a car, that kills two birds with one stone.

  • When I want a pizza, I just go to a mom and pop pizzeria and have a nice meal with friend over a bottle of wine and a human waiter who talks to me.
    When I want what they have, I just put some oil on a cardboard and eat that.

  • There are some promising advances, but it seems optimistic to believe that there will be vast fleets of fully autonomous cars operating throughout the US within 5 years. Only a minority of conventional cars have anything like a self-drive mode.

    Besides, Domino's is shit pizza, shittier as pizza than Taco Bell is as Mexican food.

    The legions of local pizza places will still depend on stoners with aging Hondas and legions of fools with expensive cars desperate to do anything to make their car payments.

    • by ahodgson ( 74077 )

      They can't make an automated sink that works reliably. I'm not holding my breath on cars. Sure they work with an engineer babysitting them. But how about after 2 years of pizza shop maintenance. Will a single sensor on them still work right? I think not.

  • by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Wednesday January 17, 2018 @11:03AM (#55946101) Journal
    Why not cut out the middle man and create autonomous, self-delivering pizzas? I have no idea how it would work, but whoever comes up with it would have a license to print money!
    • Indeed, why does it have to be cars? It's not like a pizza is a huge item that weights a lot either.

      Pizza delivery by drones? Much better solution IMHO. Bypasses all the traffic, goes in a straight line to the customer.

    • Essentially a mobility scooter with an insulated cylindrical body of pizza-diameter, with slide-out drawers, a card reader and a cell phone. Throw on some standard lights for road safety.

      The thing drives itself to your door, calls you on your phone to advise it has arrived, and when you put your payment card in the reader the drawer(s) with your pizza(s) slide open.

      Easy-peasy.

  • Like I eat Domino's pizza.

  • I want my pizzas delivered by a Deliverator under the watchful eye of Uncle Enzo.
    https://101books.net/2013/02/0... [101books.net]

    • I must admit I'd rather that the pizzas were delivered to someone a few blocks away, while I just watched. The collateral damage from actually getting pizza this way is a bit much

  • First, you'd need to have a vegan pizza on the menu - and I'm not talking about vegetables as topping. Probably won't happen before another decade.

    Second, you'd need to open a Domino's Pizza in my small town of 10K people. Never going to happen.

    Third, autonomous cars are a lie from the industrial military complex controlled by the covfefe flat earthers.

  • That doesn't mean you won't still need a delivery person inside the car. When I order pizza at a dorm or a hotel and any multi tenant building , I'm generally not interested in going outside and finding the car to get the pizza from it.

  • Domino's CEO has an interesting opinion, but I really want to hear what the CEO of Domino's insurance company thinks of the proposal.

  • Though I suspect most people don't pay for pizza with cash anyway.

    I can't help but wonder, though, which is cheaper:

    Workman's comp for drivers who get robbed, or repair bills for self driving cars that get vandalized.

  • My homemade pizzas will be delivered from my oven to my table. Nobody can make a better pizza than one you make from scratch. It ain't that hard.
    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Well, it is not. But I have to admit I will buy the dough these days and pre-rolled, because it is much less of a mess. I also like some of the newer deep-frozen ones, they have gotten pretty good, at least here.

  • Why yes, I'd like a Marauder to shoot it thru my front door, so I won't hafta go outside.
    Dunno how the pizza will fare, tho

  • As the mom and pop pizza places I order from still don't even have computers.

  • That means I have to walk down to the street to get my pizza from a car.

    It's a better service when it's delivered to my door. Especially if it's raining.

  • The would be only reasonable. The raw product is refrigerated or frozen anyways. Just make it so that it is just ready when arriving. While I am eating either high-quality deep frozen pizza or making my own, I would try that.

  • If they're going to send my pizza in an autonomous car, they had better send someone in it to walk it to the door for me. Otherwise I'll order elsewhere.

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