Domino Nuro Autonomous Delivery Vehicle

Source: Domino

The newest delivery man on Domino’s Pizza isn’t a person – it’s a self-driving car.

The restaurant company announced Monday that a Nuro autonomous car will begin delivering pizzas this week as part of a pilot program in Houston.

Customers must place a prepaid order on the Domino website to have them delivered from the chain’s Woodland Heights location. If your order falls within certain days and times, you can have Nuro’s R2 robot drop off your pizza. Once the robot arrives, customers enter a unique PIN on their touchscreen to prompt the doors to open so they can retrieve their pizza.

A Domino spokeswoman said the company has no end date for the pilot program.

The R2 robot is the first fully autonomous road delivery vehicle with no occupants to receive government approval from the US Department of Transportation. Founded by two former members of Google’s self-driving car team, Nuro raised $ 500 million in its most recent funding round, including an investment from Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Over the past decade, Domino’s has invested in technology to make ordering and receiving a pizza faster and easier, and to attract customers away from independent pizzerias and other chains like Papa John’s. Driverless pizza delivery is an area that recent areas are focusing on, although the company is still years or even decades away from replacing its entire fleet of drivers.

In 2019 the company announced its partnership with Nuro. Two years earlier, it looked at how consumers would react to pizza delivery by a Ford autonomous car.

Domino stocks are up 13% over the past year for a market value of $ 15.2 billion. The company has benefited from consumer desire for delivery during the coronavirus pandemic, but analysts are concerned about pizza depletion in the coming months.