Dominos plans in-car ordering through onboard platforms

(Bloomberg) --Domino’s Pizza Inc. -- already known as the tech-savviest pizza maker -- is getting inside the biggest piece of hardware you own: your car.

A new ordering platform will be preloaded on millions of “connected” cars starting this year, Domino’s said Monday, through a partnership with Xevo Inc., which provides commerce services in some GM and Hyundai models. Customers will be able to place and track orders on their car’s touchscreen. They can also use the platform to locate nearby stores and call in orders through their car’s interface.

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An employee cuts a pizza at a Domino's Pizza Inc. restaurant in Chantilly, Virginia. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

With vehicles becoming more connected, businesses like Starbucks Corp. and Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. have already entered the automotive commerce market. IHS Markit expects there will be more than 75 million new vehicles produced with display screens by 2024, many of which will be able to facilitate these sorts of features.

Domino’s rapid growth in recent years has come alongside its use of technology that includes mobile-ordering capabilities, voice-ordering through Google Home and Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa, as well as delivery to locations without an address.

Yet, while it’s same-store sales are higher than the industry average, that key metric missed analysts’ estimates last quarter, as competitors hop on the technology train. Pizza Hut is working to improve its app and delivery services, and said last month it’s working with FedEx Corp. to test a robot to deliver pizzas.