Domino’s to Test Self-Driving Delivery Vehicles

Pizza maker partners with robotics firm Nuro
Photograph courtesy of Domino's

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Domino’s Pizza is preparing to test autonomous delivery in Houston. The pizza and technology company will use Nuro's unmanned fleet to serve select Houston Domino's customers who place orders online. This partnership will expand Nuro's autonomous delivery operations, which have been running in the Houston metropolitan area since March as part of its work with Cincinnati-based Kroger.

"We are always looking for new ways to innovate and evolve the delivery experience for our customers," said Kevin Vasconi, Domino's executive vice president and chief information officer. "Nuro's vehicles are specially designed to optimize the food delivery experience, which makes them a valuable partner in our autonomous vehicle journey. The opportunity to bring our customers the choice of an unmanned delivery experience, and our operators an additional delivery solution during a busy store rush, is an important part of our autonomous vehicle testing."

Select customers who order online from one of Domino's participating stores will have the opportunity to use Nuro's autonomous delivery. Once they have opted in, customers can track the vehicle via the Domino's app and will be provided with a unique PIN code to unlock the compartment in Nuro’s delivery bot to retrieve their pizza.

"We are excited to expand our autonomous delivery service in Houston with Domino's delivery," said Cosimo Leipold, Nuro's head of partner relations. "Domino's delivers millions of pizzas around the world every day, and the company shares our passion for focusing on the customer experience. We see incredible opportunity in offering Nuro's world-class autonomous technology to Domino's customers, accelerating our shared mission to transform local commerce."

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Domino’s Pizza is a global brand with more than 15,900 stores in more than 85 markets. Its system is comprised of independent franchise owners who accounted for 98% of Domino's stores as of fourth-quarter 2018. In the United States, Domino's generates more than 65% of sales via digital channels and has produced several ordering platforms, including on Google Home, Facebook Messenger, Apple Watch, Amazon Echo, Twitter and text message using a pizza emoji.

Nuro's first product is a self-driving vehicle designed for local goods transportation. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company is led by experts in robotics, artificial intelligence and computer vision. Privately held, Nuro powers partnerships with local businesses seeking new ways to cost effectively transport goods and create new experiences for their customers.

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