Domino's is no stranger to exploring the use of technology in its global pizza delivery service. Last year, it began dispatching pizzas to customers' homes in New Zealand using aerial drones, with ambitions "to launch pizza-by-drone deliveries at increasing scale in the near future".
Earlier in 2016, the company had introduced an autonomous four-wheeled vehicle developed in Australia in partnership with military and police hardware specialists Marathon Targets. Now, the company is expanding on that latter vision with the launch of a new autonomous pizza delivery service in Europe.
Domino's Pizza Enterprises - the largest franchisee of the Domino's brand in the world, with over 2,000 stores - has teamed up with Starship Technologies to bring the robotic delivery service to the streets of two European cities. Domino's Group CEO and Managing Director Don Meij said the partnership marked an important step in the pizza giant's aspirations to lead the way in autonomous food deliveries.
"We are a global company and we are eager to progress innovative technology in all of the countries in which we operate," he said. "We are very excited to be partnering with Starship as it brings regular deliveries by robot one step closer to commercial operations."
He added that it's a necessary step too, explaining that with the firm's growth plans over the next decade, "we simply won’t have enough delivery drivers if we do not look to add to our fleet through initiatives such as this."
Under the Domino's Robotic Unit, a division dedicated to the use of robot and drone technologies for delivery, the six-wheeled Starship Robots will start delivering pizzas within a one-mile radius of Domino's stores in a selection of cities across Germany and the Netherlands.
Starship already has partnerships with firms such as Postmates, Just Eat, Hermes Parcel Delivery, Swiss Post, and Door Dash in countries including the US, UK, Germany, Switzerland and Estonia. It recently announced $17.2 million in seed funding, led by Mercedes-Benz Vans.
Source and images: Starship Technologies