Pizza Girl: Future Technology

Every week, Pizza Girl (Diary of a Pizza Girl) stops by with insights and a behind-the-scenes look into the world of pizza-delivery drivers. Take it away, PG! The Mgmt.

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Domino's Triton No. 1, an experimental pizza-delivery vehicle, at the Pioneer Auto Show, a museum in Murdo, South Dakota. It's a future that never came to pass, as most pizza drivers use their own cars for delivery. [Photograph: Hugo90 on Flickr]

Once upon a time, long, long ago, there were no such things as a GPS. This was before the "delivery fee" was even a twinkle in the Noid's eye. Cellphones were built like bricks, and pizza delivery dudes were all dudes. And in this land of my pizza-delivery forbears, drivers carried maps made of trees but mostly carried maps in their heads.

Whenever one of the older drivers starts going on about maps and stopping in at convenience stores for directions I shudder. Not only do I have a terrible sense of direction (though being a delivery driver has improved it at least within my delivery area) but I have a smartphone. My phone is my best friend out on deliveries. I can look up directions (I won't get started on how Google Maps seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding of one-way streets and solid objects), find where I am, call the store, call the customer, Twitter my tips. Granted, that last one probably isn't essential to a good delivery, but it keeps me sane.

I have no idea what technological improvement is going to come in next and make delivery better. My chain is supposed to be moving to "smart routing" soon, which I'm not enthusiastic about. When I was in Podunk, there were plenty of places that were physically near each other but with a long drive between them due to the positioning of the roads, and I have my doubts about whether a computer can understand such a concept.

Here are some of my ideas (far-fetched or not) that would be cool to see in the future:

  • Augmented reality, where my windshield displays house numbers superimposed on houses. It could also integrate while I'm on the job to track my mileage, give turn-by-turn directions, gather traffic information from other drivers, tell me how old each delivery is.
  • A database that tracked a household's historical tipping amounts. Of course, there would have to be a super pain-free way to access it, as I'm far too busy (and sometimes too lazy) to try to access a website to either do data entry or to look up houses. Maybe it could integrate with my phone's map feature. I suppose there's also some privacy issues to consider.
  • A convenient way (maybe in my trunk) to integrate a machine that makes the pizza as I drive to the house so that it's straight out of the oven (and sliced and boxed) when I get there.

Any ideas for what's going to change pizza delivery in the future? Will we even need pizza delivery in the future?

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