Domino's starts self-driving pizza delivery service with Nuro autonomous cars
Only available in Houston, for nowBy Joao Silva
What just happened? Have you ever thought about getting a pizza delivered to your doorstep by a robot? Well, that's now a thing. Selected Houston customers can buy a pizza from Domino's website, select its new autonomous pizza delivery service, and a Nuro R2 vehicle will come to their home with the order.
Domino's customers can select the self-driving pizza delivery service when placing a prepaid order from Domino's in Woodland Heights, at 3209 Houston Ave, depending on the service's availability. Once ordered, customers will receive alerts informing them about the order's state and a unique PIN to withdraw the goods from the vehicle. Customers may also track the location using GPS through the order confirmation page.
When the R2 reaches its destination, customers will have to input the PIN provided in the vehicle's display. Once introduced correctly, the R2's hatches open so customers can pick up the order.
Nuro may have a few competitors, such as Zoox, but as of 2021, the R2 robot is the only autonomous, occupant-less on-road delivery vehicle approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Dennis Maloney, senior VP and chief innovation officer at Domino's, stated that the "program will allow us [Domino's] to better understand how customers respond to the deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations."
"Nuro's mission is to better everyday life through robotics. Now, for the first time, we're launching real world, autonomous deliveries with R2 and Domino's," said Dave Ferguson, co-founder and president of Nuro. "We can't wait to see what they [Houston customers] think." Dave added.
Domino's and Nuro's partnership was announced in 2019, but it's not the only company that the pizza maker has associated with to develop an autonomous pizza delivery service. That same year, Domino's also partnered with Ford for using autonomous Ford Fusion cars to deliver pizzas.
Nuro also has joined forces with others to develop their own self-driving delivery services, including Kroger for groceries and CVS for prescription medicine.