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Domino’s and Nuro begin autonomous pizza delivery in Houston

13 Apr 2021 (Last Updated April 13th, 2021 10:21)

Pizza company Domino's and self-driving delivery company Nuro are ready to begin autonomous pizza delivery this week in Houston, Texas, US.

Domino’s and Nuro begin autonomous pizza delivery in Houston
Customers will need to enter a pin number on the bot’s touchscreen to retrieve their order. Credit: Domino’s Pizza.

Pizza company Domino’s and self-driving delivery company Nuro are ready to begin autonomous pizza delivery this week in Houston, Texas, US.

Customers will receive the pizza from Nuro’s R2 robot, a fully autonomous on-road delivery vehicle that has been approved by the US Department of Transportation.

The company said that select customers can choose the Nuro delivery service, on certain days and times, when they order prepaid pizzas from Domino’s in Woodland Heights on the company’s website.

Nuro co-founder and president Dave Ferguson said: “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.

“We’re excited to introduce our autonomous delivery bots to a select set of Domino’s customers in Houston. We can’t wait to see what they think.”

Domino’s said that the select customers will be alerted with a text message, which will update them on R2’s location.

A unique pin number will be sent to the customer, which they will need to enter on the bot’s touchscreen to retrieve their order.

Customers will also have the option to track the vehicle through GPS on their order confirmation page.

Domino’s senior vice-president and chief innovation officer Dennis Maloney said: “We’re excited to continue innovating the delivery experience for Domino’s customers by testing autonomous delivery with Nuro in Houston.

“There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space. This program will allow us to better understand how customers respond to the deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations.

“The growing demand for great-tasting pizza creates the need for more deliveries, and we look forward to seeing how autonomous delivery can work along with Domino’s existing delivery experts to better support the customers’ needs.”

The partnership between Domino’s Pizza and robotics company Nuro, to offer autonomous pizza delivery using the custom unmanned vehicle R2, was established in 2019.

In March, Chipotle Mexican Grill also invested in autonomous delivery company Nuro, a move that is likely to help the US-based fast-casual restaurant chain bolster its delivery network.