Domino’s Pizza is teaming up with Starship Technologies, a U.K.-based company building a fleet of autonomous robots designed to deliver food and goods locally, to deliver Domino’s pizza within a 1-mile radius around Domino’s stores in select German and Dutch cities.
In a press release announcing the new initiative, Don Meij, Domino’s Group CEO and managing director, said the partnership with Starship Technologies is an important next step in making robot deliveries a reality.
“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,” said Meij. “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.”
For the Domino’s pizza delivery initiative, Starship Technologies created a six-wheeled, self-driving robot, which will bring the pizza to customers’ doorsteps. The battery-powered robot can work on sidewalks but not roads and can go a speedy 4 miles per hour and haul pizza, food and drinks up to 20 pounds. Customers have to unlock the cargo area of the robot with a code texted to them on their mobile devices. Domino’s said it can carry up to eight pizzas on a delivery or a variety of pizzas, sides, desserts and cold drinks.
Domino’s has been luring millennials with its AnyWare technology strategy, which aims to give customers the ability to place an order using any one of a multitude of platforms. That includes voice ordering through Dom, the company’s order-taking app, and placing an order via its Twitter feed, where customers can use a pizza emoji to place an order and through text messaging.
Customers can even shout out an order to Amazon’s Echo, Samsung’s Smart TV and Ford’s Sync, if they are in the car. Domino’s recently expanded its digital-ordering offerings to include the ability to place an order through smart watches.