Domino's Is Testing Self-Driving Robots That'll Deliver Pizza to Your Home
Yes, they're street legal.
We knew that Domino's was a trendsetting pizza chain, but we didn't expect it to send self-driving pizza delivery robots zooming around Houston this year. Yes, you read that right: Domino's partnered with robotics company Nuro to get street-legal robot cars out on the pavement fulfilling customers' orders.
Nuro's R2 robot is the first fully autonomous delivery vehicle that's been approved to hit the streets without a driver by the US Department of Transportation. Now, R2 technology is being used by Domino's to efficiently and securely get pizza from point A to point B, starting in Houston.
Here's how the autonomous delivery program work: When customers place a pre-paid order through the Domino's website, they can opt in to have the food delivered via robot. After their order has been prepared, a Domino's worker will load it up into an R2 vehicle and send it on its way. Customers can track the robot on their phone as it drives through the city and once it arrives at the customer's house, the customer will type a unique PIN that was provided to them into a built-in keypad on the R2. When the correct PIN is entered, a door will open and customers can take their food. It's pretty simple, and it's secure from would-be pizza thieves.
"There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space. 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," said Dennis Maloney, Domino’s senior vice president and chief innovation officer, in a press release. "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."
Right now, the only Domino's location participating in the futuristic delivery program is at 3209 Houston Ave. in Houston's historic Woodland Heights neighborhood. If all goes well, we just might start seeing R2s nationwide.
Keep scrolling to see more photos of the pizza robots.