'This will be the first time anyone has been able to do this sort of e-commerce from a vehicle,' said J. Patrick Doyle, CEO of Ann Arbor-based Domino's. (Mark Bialek / Special to The Detroit News)
By mid-year, Ford Motor Co. customers will be able to order Domino’s Pizza hands-free from their vehicles.
The Detroit-area companies, “infotainment” leaders in their respective industries, have created an app that allows Ford Sync users to order pizza from their vehicles in a few simple voice-activated steps on their smartphones.
The Easy Order platform will be demonstrated today at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the companies said Tuesday.
“This will be the first time anyone has been able to do this sort of e-commerce from a vehicle,” J. Patrick Doyle, CEO of Ann Arbor-based Domino’s, said in an interview. “The ability to tie all of this together with the Sync system and be able to order Domino’s while driving safely is a pretty big step forward.”
To order, Domino’s customers save their favorite pizza and menu combinations, address and payment information on the Easy Order function on the company website or on their mobile app. Orders can then be placed through the mobile app using simple voice commands provided by Sync.
“We’re thrilled to add Domino’s to the ever-expanding lineup of mobile apps Ford drivers can use hands-free,” Julius Marchwicki, global product manager for Ford SYNC AppLink, said in a statement Tuesday. “Americans love pizza and now they can have one ready for carryout or delivery when they are are on their way home or heading to a gathering with friends.”
Ford executives are patrolling the electronics show week talking about advances in Sync that may help Ford retain its trailblazing position in vehicle telematics. The company will add Sync AppLink to 3.4 million more vehicles this year to ensure seamless usage of smartphone apps in the car via voice command.
Doyle said it makes sense for Domino’s to share Ford’s progress in this arena because the world’s No. 2 pizza brand is No. 1 when it comes to the use of digital technology to help customers order pizza. This leadership position not only accounts for a big share of Domino’s sales increases but also greatly boosts profitability and also helps separate Domino’s from regional and independent pizza outfits that can’t afford or haven’t made the information-technology investments Domino’s has.
“Customers want to order using technology, and on a number of different platforms,” said the chief of the pizza brand that originated the 30-minute delivery guarantee decades ago.
Doyle said the Sync app “will make it easier for someone to order from Domino’s for either delivery or pickup than it is for them to go through a drive-through window” at a quick-serve restaurant. “The convenience of solving dinner that night while driving home is a pretty interesting step forward for us as traditional leaders around convenience within the pizza industry.”
Dale Buss is Metro Detroit freelance writer.