« No words | Main | Up, up and away »

August 30, 2017


Alan P.

Good Morning! I am the real Big Al. Elaine captures my life on the road very accurately. Although, since Ferguson, being a police officer has passed being a pizza driver on the Department of Labor dangerous job statistics. It has been a bad couple of years for the police.

The driverless car is a stunt, not an idea.

We are at a minimum a decade away from a self driving car being able to drive, in daylight, on smooth, well marked roads, in light traffic to its destination. This assumes a significant increase in map accuracy. Google maps does a pretty good job; better than 90% accuracy. But that is hardly good enough for pizza work. 10% off on a flight from St. Louis to Chicago means you will miss all of Cook county, not just miss the airport. Is your house less than three years old? You don’t exist at all in most mapping software. My store uses Microsoft Maps in Pulse, the Domino’s dispatch system. Its accuracy rate is closer to 70%. That’s right, two or three times a night, Domino’s computer system is giving drivers the wrong directions. It's favorite, routing through back yards to the house.

What will this thing do in rain and snow? Current driverless technology is based on the car "seeing" both the white side stripe and the lane markers. It is mid-January here in St. Louis; those things are under 3" of snow. Good luck finding its lane.

Come out to the curb and get your pizza? Whoever thought this would happen has never spent a night in a pizza store. I deliver to people in their PJs every night. One lady ordered twice a week. I probably saw her in real clothes less than once a month. She is partial to flannel plaid PJs, even in St. Louis summers. I deliver to people who don’t want to open their door as wide as the pizza box. We won’t even start with people who live in apartment buildings or are ordering from work. None of these people are coming to the curb.

When, and in the pizza world it is when, not if, the bad dude wants to steal the pizza what will this toy do? The on board tech might want to know the answer to this before not after a pistol is in his nose. I am not betting my life on it. I had a golf club thrown at my car before. When it is time to go, I want to go and go NOW.

And the biggest non starter of them all. The same company that wants no part of the liability of its drivers is going to insure cars and trips that it is 100% not doubt about it responsible for? I am thinking not just no.

Alan P.

There have also been stories about drone delivery. Under current US law, a commercial drone needs to be operated by an FAA licensed commercial pilot. Good luck finding many of those who will work for less than $8.00 an hour.

Elaine Viets

Thank you for stopping by, real Big Al. I am honored. Also glad to hear that self-delivery is a pointless stunt: We don't need to lose any more jobs.

Elaine Viets

Some of the smaller airlines now have pilots making $24,000 a year, Alan. And you won't find me on those planes. If the pizza companies do get cheap drone pilots, I can see the lawsuits piling up like pizza orders on a Saturday night: imagine relaxing in your yard when you're hit by a pizza drone.

Alan P.

I know some class action attorneys who are picking out a new Jaguar at the thought.


I stopped reading when you criticized pineapple on pizza. How could I take you seriously after that? ;)

Seriously, I don't trust driverless cars. Too many things can still go wrong with them. I know humans are far from perfect, but at least we can think for ourselves and make decisions based on what we are seeing around us.

Storyteller Mary

I am skeptical as well. My helpful GPS (Athena in a good mood) will unpredictably turn into Iktomi the Trickster. "Turn left" -- into a lake. "Turn left" -- over a cliff. "Arriving at Julie's house" -- miles away in a totally unfamiliar neighborhood, but pointed in the right direction by a babysitter. Thank goodness for "the kindness of strangers" willing to give directions.
I feel for the underpaid delivery person, though, and the dependence on tips that might not be paid. I do wish for a better arrangement and a decent wage for all, and people willing to pay for their pizza, not threaten hard-working Al the Pizza Guy. <3

Elaine Viets

LOL, Alan. I'm sure they're salivating at the thought of all those law suits.

Elaine Viets

Forgive me if I dissed your favorite pizza topping, Mark. I agree about the driverless cars. They're a long way from being roadworthy.

Elaine Viets

It still prefer people's directions over a GPS, Mary, which once sent me into a swamp. We need to make sure all our workers make a livable $15 an hour wage, and not have to depend on tips.

The comments to this entry are closed.