It's difficult to picture approaching the McDonald's drive-thru and not being greeted by a live person.
However, the chain appears to be moving in that direction as it continues to develop a new AI-based technology system that would eliminate the need for employees to take your orders.
At 24 drive-throughs in the Chicago area, McDonald's began testing voice recognition technology. which would allow a computer to take orders from customers is far from ideal.
McDonald's wants the "robot" in the drive-through to be able to understand the vast majority of spoken orders accurately and quickly.
One supplier, Presto, claims that voice ordering is approximately 95% accurate, can increase throughput by 20 seconds, and can cut labour by nine hours per day.
The technology is still far from being ready to be introduced to every McDonald's restaurant, according to the company's CEO Chris Kempczinski, who made that statement last year.
Furthermore, the system still needs some help from McDonald's staff and isn't entirely independent.
While many other fast-food and restaurant organisations have been advancing automation to increase efficiency and reduce labour costs, McDonald's has been testing the voice ordering technology.
Robots that can bus tables and handle the kitchen have been launched in Chili's restaurants. Now, at a few Texas locations, both Domino's and Chick-fil-A are testing autonomous delivery vans.
McDonald's has hinted at a few more technological advancements it's looking into in addition to its AI-based ordering system.