Domino’s Pizza will use robotics company Nuro’s autonomous R2 delivery vehicle to deliver pizzas in Houston starting this year as part of a pilot program.
Nuro’s delivery operations have already been taking place in the Houston area since this March, but the pilot program with Domino’s will launch later this year.
The announcement gives a few more details on exactly how the deliveries will work:
Select customers who order online from one of Domino’s participating stores will have the opportunity to use Nuro’s autonomous delivery. Once they have opted in, customers can track the vehicle via the Domino’s app and will be provided with a unique PIN code to unlock the compartment to get their pizza.
It’s unclear how many unmanned R2 vehicles will be made available in the program. Nuro launched a grocery delivery service with its older R1 autonomous vehicle in Scottsdale, Arizona last year, as the company announced a partnership with Kroger in 2018. Nuro posted a video then of its first customers receiving their deliveries:
For a national pizza chain, Domino’s hasn’t been afraid to innovate in recent years, sometimes in strange ways — the company is apparently still filling in potholes across the country with its Paving For Pizza campaign. Domino’s executive Kevin Vasconi said the partnership with Nuro was a worthwhile opportunity:
“We are always looking for new ways to innovate and evolve the delivery experience for our customer. Nuro’s vehicles are specially designed to optimize the food delivery experience, which makes them a valuable partner in our autonomous vehicle journey. 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.”
However, Nuro isn’t exactly a first for the pizza chain — Domino’s started conducting autonomous pizza deliveries with self-driving Ford cars in Ann Arbor, Michigan back in 2017.
Earlier this year, Nuro received a $1 billion investment from Softbank.
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