Lately when I go through the McDonald’s drive-through near my work, they seem to guess correctly on what I want to drink with my breakfast combo meal. I almost always order the same combo and I always order the same drink: a small orange juice.

But today they got it wrong. They assumed I wanted a coffee.

Why was that? Just an off day? What’s different about today? The only thing I can think of is that I was driving my wife’s car.

I will have to test this theory, of course, but I think they use some kind of vehicle recognition, perhaps by scanning the license plate, to determine what you want. They already use remote order-takers who may not even be in the building. It would not surprise me if they start to use facial recognition to guess your order even before they greet you.

It makes perfect sense: McDonald’s is humongous and they’re willing to spend a lot of money just to save a few seconds on each transaction because they look at the big picture – especially when the game is fast food.

Keep alert for more tricks McD’s may have up its sleeve.