California Paves the Way for Autonomous Delivery Vehicles

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Domino's has tested self-driving Ford Fusion delivery vehicles in Miami and Ann Arbor, Mich.

California Paves the Way for Autonomous Delivery Vehicles

By Anna Wolfe - 01/07/2020

Small autonomous delivery vehicles are poised to hit the roads in California. On Jan. 16, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will begin approving new applications for autonomous delivery vehicles that weigh less than 10,001 pounds.

Last month, the Office of Administrative Law approved revised regulations allowing for the testing and deployment autonomous delivery vehicles weighing less than 10,001 pounds on California’s public roads with an approved permit from the DMV. The new policy allows pickup trucks, vans and other smaller vehicles to be tested with or without a driver, depending on the specific permit granted by the DMV.

In a statement on the DMV's website,  it said it followed the same approach used for past AV regulations packages, including a hearing and workshop open to public comment.

The DMV’s regulations continue to exclude the autonomous testing or deployment of vehicles weighing more than 10,001 pounds.

Restaurants See Promise in Self-Driving Delivery Vehicles

Faced with staff shortages and increasing wages at a time when off premise sales are soaring, restaurants are keeping a watchful eye on autonomous technology, including self-driving delivery vehicles.

According to Hospitality Technology’s 2019 Restaurant Technology Study, 22% of digital engagement innovators see double the promise in autonomous vehicles and drones.

Tech innovator Domino's teamed up with Ford Motor Company to test autonomous delivery vehicles in Ann Arbor, Mich. The pizza chain also teamed up with Nuro to test self-driving delivery vehicles in select Texas markets including Houston.

Domino's Pizza and robotics company Nuro are partnering on autonomous pizza delivery.