To bring autonomous pizza delivery to Houston, Domino’s Pizza and robotics company Nuro are teaming up to use a custom unmanned vehicle dubbed R2 later in 2019. The fleet from Nuro will serve certain Domino’s customers in Houston who place their orders online, the company said in an announcement.
Domino’s Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer Kevin Vasconi said in the announcement, “We are always looking for new ways to innovate and evolve the delivery experience for our customers.” Vasconi noted, “Nuro’s vehicles are specially designed to optimize the food delivery experience, which makes them a valuable partner in our autonomous vehicle journey.”
According to the announcement, certain diners who place an order from a participating location of the pizza chain will be able to tap into the autonomous delivery option. Diners can track the vehicle through the company’s app and will receive a special PIN code to unlock a compartment in order to retrieve their pizzas.
In other Nuro news, the SoftBank-backed robotics company and grocery retailer Kroger Co. announced in mid-March the launch of their self-driving grocery delivery service in Houston. The firms said the service will be available through two Houston Kroger locations and reach shoppers who live in four local ZIP codes. Kroger and Nuro have operated a self-driving grocery delivery service in Scottsdale, Arizona, servicing a single ZIP code with an autonomous vehicle fleet since August.
Nuro Co-founder Dave Ferguson in a press release at the time, “We’ve seen firsthand in Arizona how enthusiastic customers are about getting their Kroger groceries delivered by a Nuro self-driving vehicle.” Ferguson continued, “Texas has been a leader in encouraging self-driving innovation, and we’re excited to help deliver that future for Houston — a dynamic, diverse and welcoming metropolitan city that we’re excited to soon explore and serve with this autonomous delivery service.”