Did you order your pizza with sausage, garlic, and extra robot? Domino’s Pizza is happy to deliver. Literally.
Today Domino’s announced that it has teamed up with autonomous robot company Starship Technologies to enable customers in certain parts of Europe to soon have piping hot pizza delivered to their door by robot.
“Robotic delivery units will complement our existing delivery methods, including cars, scooters and ebikes, ensuring our customers can get the hottest, freshest-made pizza delivered directly to them, wherever they are,” Don Meij, Domino’s CEO and managing director, said in a statement. “With our growth plans over the next five to 10 years, we simply won’t have enough delivery drivers if we do not look to add to our fleet through initiatives such as this.”
In a case of life imitating art (or maybe just technology catching up with ambition) Domino’s is actually now able to deliver in reality what it hinted at as an April Fool’s just a few years ago. Back in 2015, Domino’s claimed it was launching an autonomous scooter delivery program called “Domi-No-Drivers.” Jump forward a couple of years, and a variation on that dream has now come true.
Delivery company Starship Technologies was launched in July 2014 by two Skype co-founders, Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis, with the goal of changing how packages, groceries, and food is delivered. The robots drive autonomously, although they’re constantly monitored by humans who are able to seize control if need be. The robots can deliver goods inside half an hour within a 2-mile radius, and are capable of carrying up to eight pizzas at a time.
The robotic pizza delivery service will launch this summer in Hamburg, Germany, with plans to expand to the Netherlands after that. Previously, Domino’s tested autonomous pizza delivery in Australia and New Zealand, as well as dipping its toes into the drone delivery market.
If all goes well, hopefully it won’t be long before the rest of us can join in the fun. Robot-based fast food delivery? We’d sure like a pizza that! (We’ll show ourselves out …)
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