Marco's Pizza to start testing autonomous vehicle delivery

The pizza chain has signed a memorandum of understanding with mobile tech company Magna to test last-mile delivery in locations in North America.
Marco's autonomous
Marco's has an agreement with a mobile technology company to test autonomous and electric pizza delivery vehicles. | Photo courtesy of Marco's Pizza.

Your next Marco’s Pizza could come from an autonomous vehicle.

The Toledo, Ohio-based pizza delivery chain on Thursday announced that it has signed an agreement with Magna, a mobile technology company, to explore options for providing the chain's franchisees with autonomous and electric delivery vehicles.

The two companies over the next several months will discuss “proof of concept” before they kick off pilot projects in certain markets with participating franchisees. Those initial projects will provide data and insights on last-mile delivery usage rates, customer acceptance and overall efficiency.

The goal is to provide “low cost and environmentally friendly” strategies for delivery.

Magna is a Toronto-based company that is one of the largest automotive suppliers in the world. Marco’s in a release said that the companies and the chain’s franchisees will test “a variety of last-mile delivery platforms, including autonomous and electric” options.

“As we look at how people and goods will move in the future, we are continuously identifying new applications and technologies to match the needs of the expanded mobility landscape, the last-mile delivery market being one of them,” Matteo Del Sorbo, global lead for new mobility at Magna, said in a statement.

Marco’s is the nation’s fifth-largest pizza chain with more than 1,100 locations and system sales topping $1 billion.

Various brands have been testing delivery using autonomous vehicles, including the market leader Domino’s, but for the most part none of the efforts have expanded beyond the testing stage. Yet delivery robots have been more common on college campuses.

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