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Domino’s has deployed a self-driving robot to deliver pizza to the masses

This is going to be a very busy robot.

domino's delivery bot
Image: Domino's

The future is now, and with it comes automatic, driverless pizza delivery. Mega pizza chain Domino’s has teamed up with Nuro, developers of autonomous delivery robots, to come up with an automatic, driverless delivery robot. The companies have already worked together to develop one of these vehicles that certain customers may see in their neighborhood soon.

Nuro has developed a battery-powered robot that is designed specifically for Domino’s pizza delivery. For now, there is only one vehicle (called R2), and the robot is only working out of one restaurant in the city of Houston at the moment. Customers who order pizza from the Domino’s at 3209 Houston Avenue in Woodlawn Heights in Houston may get the chance to have their food delivered by R2.

I say “may” because the company wasn’t super specific about when R2 is actually available for deliveries, and considering there is only one of them, R2 will certainly be extremely busy whenever they are on the clock. In its statement announcing the company’s newest employee, Domino’s said that customers will have the option to choose if they want R2 to deliver, and not everyone who wishes to get a delivery from the robot will be selected.

This is not the first time the company has toyed with autonomous delivery, but it does look like Domino’s is pretty serious this time around. Dennis Maloney, senior vice president and chief innovation officer had this to say about the latest robot delivery initiative:

“We’re excited to continue innovating the delivery experience for Domino’s customers by testing autonomous delivery with Nuro in Houston…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. 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.”

It will be interesting to see where this goes. Domino’s originally began talking about autonomous delivery vehicles with Nuro in 2019, but it has taken until now to see those plans taking shape. Who knows, maybe by this time next year our neighborhoods will be full of Nuro’s automatic delivery vehicles.

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