Forward-looking: The future of product delivery will be an autonomous one, if companies like Amazon, Google, and even Domino's have their way. As some may already know, Domino's in particular has been working on autonomous pizza delivery services for some time now, but those behind-the-scenes plans will finally become a reality later this year.
Sometime during the Fall or holiday season of 2019, Domino's will began using Nuro self-driving vehicles to deliver pizzas to certain parts of Houston. The company did not elaborate on specific roll-out plans beyond that, but it sounds like customers will need to manually opt-in to autonomous delivery; it won't be an automatic transition.
Nuro, for the unaware, is a robotics company that has been trying to "transform local commerce through driverless delivery." They're best known for their small, quirky delivery vehicles with interiors specifically designed to carry products (there's no room for a driver or a passenger of any kind). Given Nuro's expertise in this area, it's not hard to see why Domino's partnered up with them.
"We are always looking for new ways to innovate and evolve the delivery experience for our customers," said Domino's CIO Kevin Vasconi. "Nuro's vehicles are specially designed to optimize the food delivery experience, which makes them a valuable partner in our autonomous vehicle journey."
"We are always looking for new ways to innovate and evolve the delivery experience for our customers," said Domino's CIO Kevin Vasconi.
Anyway, let's talk logistics -- how exactly does the whole autonomous pizza delivery process work? According to Domino's, a customer places an order online from a "participating" store and then waits as the food is made by a team of human chefs and packed into a Nuro vehicle.
Once the car departs, much like you can with Domino's current online ordering system, you'll be able to track its location in real-time. When it finally arrives, you'll use a "unique PIN code" given to you by Domino's to unlock the compartment and grab your food. This means that, in theory, nobody else will be able to swipe or tamper with your order before it arrives.