Marco's Pizza tests driverless delivery vehicle

Old world pizza making with new world delivery

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Marco's Pizza is exploring better ways to get freshly made pizzas to people's homes, schools and businesses. They have found that bikes and scooters work great in high-traffic urban areas.

Drone delivery is likely a long way off, but offers a viable option in the future. However, driverless vehicles present a very realistic possiblilty in the near-term.

To understand how this technology could impact delivery, Marco's Pizza has begun testing a prototype vehicle named π DDV.

When the pizza comes out of the oven, it's put into a special warming bag and loaded into π DDV. The vehicle is programmed with the delivery address, and once at its destination, sends a text message to the customer to come outside. The vehicle also has optical sensors, which trigger the hatch to open when approached by the homeowner. In addition, it has a built-in credit card scanner to accept tips.

Testing has just begun, but if everything goes well, π DDV could be on the street a year from now.

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