Domino's Enlists Robots to Help Deliver Pizza in Houston
The pizza chain is using the first autonomous, passengerless on-road delivery vehicle to be approved by the Department of Transportation for select deliveries in Houston
The machines might be taking over, but they come bearing pizza.
Domino's is launching autonomous pizza delivery this week in Houston, partnering with leading self-driving delivery company Nuro. The pizza chain is enlisting the Nuro R2 robot, the first autonomous, passengerless on-road delivery vehicle to receive regulatory approval from the Department of Transportation.
Select customers who order online from Domino's in the Woodland Heights area can request to have their pizza delivered by the Nuro R2. If selected, customers will receive a text with delivery updates and a unique PIN to retrieve their order.
"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 in a statement. "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."
Malone continued, "The growing demand for great-tasting pizza creates the need for more deliveries, and we look forward to seeing how autonomous delivery can work along with Domino's existing delivery experts to better support the customers' needs."
The chain has certainly seen an uptick in business during pandemic, as they had contactless pickup and delivery systems ready to go, which led to a surge in sales and stock prices, according to WSJ.
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"Nuro's mission is to better everyday life through robotics," said Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder and president in the statement.
"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."