Domino's Pizza pilots driverless delivery with Nuro in Houston

Domino’s Pizza‘s latest deliverer is not an individual — it is a self-driving automobile.

The restaurant firm mentioned Monday that an autonomous automobile made by Nuro will begin delivering pizzas in Houston this week as a part of a pilot program.

Customers should place a pay as you go order on Domino’s web site for delivery from the chain’s Woodland Heights location. If their order falls inside sure days and instances, they will select to have Nuro’s R2 robotic drop off their pizza. Once the robotic arrives, prospects will enter a novel PIN on its contact display to immediate the doorways to open to allow them to retrieve their pizza.

A Domino’s spokeswoman mentioned the corporate would not have an finish date for the pilot program but.

The R2 robotic is the primary fully autonomous on-road delivery car with none occupants to obtain regulatory approval from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Nuro, which was based by two former members of Google’s self-driving automobile crew, raised $500 million in its last funding round, which included an funding from Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Over the final decade, Domino’s has invested in expertise to make ordering and receiving a pizza quicker and simpler, serving to it lure prospects away from impartial pizzerias and different chains, similar to Papa John’s. Driverless pizza delivery is one space of current focus, though the corporate remains to be years — and even many years — away from changing its complete fleet of drivers.

In 2019, the corporate introduced its partnership with Nuro. Two years earlier than, it researched how shoppers would react to pizza delivery by an autonomous automobile from Ford.

Domino’s shares have risen 13% in the final yr, giving it a market worth of $15.2 billion. The firm has benefited from shoppers’ want for delivery through the coronavirus pandemic, however analysts are involved about pizza fatigue in the approaching months.