Thursday, March 30, 2017

Domino's delivers pizza in Europe with wheeled drones

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Both this pilot and the one in New Zealand come under the auspices of DRU (Domino’s Robotic Unit), the same division that’s developing its homegrown machine. “[I]t’s not a matter of changes,” a spokesperson told us, “but running multiple programs to bring technology, that makes ordering faster and simpler, to our customers as quickly as possible.” Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Chief Executive Officer Don Meij also said in a statement that if the company doesn’t add drones to its fleet through initiatives like this, it won’t have enough delivery drivers with its growth plans over the next five to 10 years.

Starship’s autonomous rover is a battery-powered wheeled machine designed to run on sidewalks. It can carry up to 20 pounds of food — eight pizzas or a combination of pizzas, sides, drinks and dessert products — per delivery, kept inside a cargo hold. Customers can unlock that cargo hold with a code sent to their phones.

Unfortunately, the pilot isn’t available all over the two European countries. In fact, it’s only open to people living within a one-mile radius of certain stores in select German and Dutch cities. If you live in either country, you’ll have to call your local branch and ask if it can send a wheeled drone your way.

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