The inevitable robot uprising is one step closer to becoming a reality, with Domino's completing what they claim to be the world's first ever pizza delivery by drone. The store-to-door aerial pizza man was unveiled in New Zealand back in August, but this week successfully completed its first pie in the sky mission in Whangaparaoa, just north of Auckland.
The order — a questionable combo of peri-peri chicken and chicken and cranberry pizzas, FYI — was delivered to two happy customers around lunchtime on Wednesday, and of course the Domino's team who were there to capture the whole glorious thing.
The delivery was made by unmanned aerial vehicle DRU Drone by (U.S. drone developers) Flirtey, which was autonomously controlled by a team of drone experts and a drone pilot. Domino's is calling it the world's first commercial delivery of food by drone to a customer (although 7-Eleven did deliver their first Slurpee by drone back in July).
"We invested in this partnership, and technology, because we believe drone delivery will be an essential component of our pizza deliveries, so even more customers can receive the freshest, hottest pizza we can offer," Domino's Group CEO and Managing Director, Don Meij said in a statement.
"DRU Drone by Flirtey offers the promise of safer, faster deliveries to an expanded delivery area, meaning more customers can expect to receive a freshly-made order within our ultimate target of ten minutes. They can avoid traffic congestion and traffic lights, and safely reduce the delivery time and distance by travelling directly to customers' homes. This is the future."
According to Domino's, the drones will be used as a delivery method alongside the existing fleet of human couriers (well, until they outlive their usefulness) and will eventually be "fully integrated into online ordering and GPS systems". Expect the drones to make short distance deliveries in fine weather, because the last thing we need is pizza falling from the sky.
…actually, scratch that. That sounds excellent.
The successful pizza run looks set to see drone delivery integrated into the delivery repertoire of more New Zealand stores, and Domino's is looking at starting drone delivery trials in Australia, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Japan and Germany.