Domino’s is launching a robotic pizza delivery service in Houston

Houston customers can have Domino’s delivered via R2, Nuro’s custom, autonomous vehicle, starting this week. Photograph: Domino's

One of the largest pizza delivery companies in the world, Domino’s is launching a robot car delivery service to select customers in Houston this week onwards!

Domino’s has collaborated with Nuro, a Silicon Valley startup, to initiate this service. So, customers who place an order from Domino’s in Woodland Heights, located at 3209 Houston Ave., can opt to have their pizzas delivered by Nuro’s R2 robot, which is the first completely autonomous, occupantless on-road delivery vehicle with a regulatory approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

So how does the delivery process work?

Customers that have opted for R2 to deliver their pizzas will receive text alerts, which will update them on R2’s location and provide them with a unique PIN to collect their order. Once R2 arrives to their location, they are required to enter the PIN on R2’s touchscreen. This will enable R2’s doors to open, revealing their pizzas.

“There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space,” Dennis Maloney, Domino’s senior vice president and chief innovation officer, said of the new initiative. “This program will allow us to better understand how customers respond to the deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations.”

“Nuro’s mission is to better everyday life through robotics. Now, for the first time, we’re launching real world, autonomous deliveries with R2 and Domino’s,” said Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder and president. “We’re excited to introduce our autonomous delivery bots to a select set of Domino’s customers in Houston. We can’t wait to see what they think.”

This, however, is not Domino’s first stint with autonomous deliveries. In 2013, it had experimented pizza delivery through drones in the United Kingdom. In 2017, it had used a self-driving Ford Fusion hybrid to deliver pizzas to randomly chosen customers in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Nuro is an American robotics company based in Mountain View, California which was founded in 2016 by Jiajun Zhu and Dave Ferguson, both former Google engineers.

Isn’t this an interesting concept? Do you think autonomous food deliveries are the future? Let us know your views in the comments section below.

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