Dominos Brings Autonomous Pizza Delivery to Houston

first_imgStay on target Domino’s delivery drivers may want to start looking for work elsewhere.The pizza company has partnered with robotics firm Nuro to autonomously distribute dinner—no human-to-human eye contact necessary.Using the next-gen unmanned R2 vehicle, Domino’s expects to start serving select Houston customers “later this year.”Lucky folks who order online from a participating pizza shop can opt in to Nuro’s autonomous delivery and track the car from Domino’s to your door. Er… your driveway.Without a real live person to carry and hand over a greasy feast, you’ll have to actually leave the house—even if it’s just to walk 10 feet. Which may put a damper on your Friday-night PJ party for one. (Just don’t forget the keys.)Once the wheeled pod arrives, simply enter a unique PIN to retrieve your food from the storage compartment—hopefully before the neighbors spy your fluffy bunny slippers.“We are always looking for new ways to innovate and evolve the delivery experience for our customers,” Domino’s Executive Vice President Kevin Vasconi said in a statement. “The opportunity to bring our customers the choice of an unmanned delivery experience—and our operators an additional delivery solution during a busy store rush—is an important part of our autonomous vehicle testing.”This isn’t Domino’s first high-tech rodeo: The restaurant chain in 2015 crowdsourced the “ultimate delivery vehicle,” before introducing what they claimed at the time was the world’s first autonomous delivery robot—Domino’s Robotic Unit, or DRU.Around the same time, former Googlers Jianjun Zhu and Dave Ferguson teamed up to form Nuro, which develops autonomous delivery vehicles.The firm officially launched in early 2018 with the unveiling of its first product, the R1 electric self-driving local commerce car. Weighing in at 1,500 lbs., the stocky sedan is designed to carry only cargo, with space for 12 grocery bags in the first model.“We are excited to expand our autonomous delivery service in Houston with Domino’s,” according to Cosimo Leipold, Nuro’s head of partner relations.“Domino’s delivers millions of pizzas around the world every day, and the company shares our passion for focusing on the customer experience,” he continued. “We see incredible opportunity in offering Nuro’s world-class autonomous technology to Domino’s customers, accelerating our shared mission to transform local commerce.”This marks Domino’s first real use of delivery automation.A previous tie-in with Ford, as CNET pointed out, was “just smoke and mirrors”; its so-called self-driving car featured a human driver hidden behind blacked-out windows.More on Geek.com:Domino’s Will Use AI-Powered Cameras to Check Pizza OrdersOrder Domino’s Directly From Your Car’s TouchscreenAutonomous Bar Will Drive Up and Mix You Drinks Help NASA Develop Autonomous RoversU.S. Army To Test Remote-Controlled Combat Vehicles last_img

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