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Domino's Partners Ford to Test Driverless Delivery Vehicles

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Leading global pizza delivery company Domino's Pizza, Inc. (DPZ - Free Report) , in conjunction with Ford Motor Co. (F - Free Report) , has initiated a research on consumers’ responses to pizza delivery using self-driven vehicles.

As part of the initiative, researchers from both the companies will be analyzing customer reactions from their interactions with a self-driving vehicle delivering their food. This research will help the companies understand consumers’ perspective on technologically-advanced methods of food delivery.

Over the next few weeks, randomly picked Domino’s customers in Ann Arbor, MI, will have the opportunity to receive their orders through a Ford Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle, driven by a Ford safety engineer and staffed with researchers. Customers will also have the facility to track the delivery vehicle through an advanced version of Domino’s Tracker. Also, customers will be provided with a unique code through a text message which will allow them to receive the delivery.

Notably, Domino’s has been heavily investing in technology-driven initiatives like digital ordering to boost sales. In the pizza space, by beating competitors like Papa John's International, Inc. (PZZA - Free Report) and Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM - Free Report) , Domino’s has been the first to launch ordering services through social media with an efficient order tracking system.

Domino's world-class digital ordering platforms like Google Home, Facebook Messenger, Apple Watch, Amazon Echo, Twitter and ordering via a Pizza emoji has placed the company in the forefront of digital ordering and customer convenience.

Moreover, this digital leadership is helping the company expand its brand in the domestic market as well as overseas. This is one of the reasons why Domino’s shares have outperformed the industry over the past year. The stock has gained 19.3%, as compared with the 5.6% gain of the industry.

Additionally, over the past 60 days, current quarter and year earnings estimates have gone up 6% and 4.9%, respectively, reflecting analyst optimism.

In order to keep up with the digital wave in the U.S. restaurant space, many restaurants are adopting advanced technology to provide greater consumer satisfaction. However, Domino’s relentless remodeling efforts in terms of deploying advanced digital expertise and sales building keep this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company in a competitively advantageous position. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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