Domino’s is trialling pizza delivery robots in Europe

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  • Domino’s customers in Europe could soon find that their pizza delivery driver has been replaced by a self-driving robot, as the global takeaway chain has revealed it is partnering with Starship Technologies, a UK-based startup that is developing autonomous delivery robots.

    The company’s six-wheeled robots are equipped with GPS, sensors and a series of cameras, and with a top speed of 4mph they are able to deliver food or parcels within a two-mile radius in 15 to 30 minutes.

    “We’re shared in our vision with Domino’s to constantly improve convenience for the customer.” said Ahti Heinla, CEO of Starship Technologies. “Not only is Domino’s pizza delicious, but the perfect topping is giving back the luxury of time and control to the customer, and our robots are best placed to offer this.”

    Starship Technologies will initially test robot deliveries within a 1 mile radius of Domino’s stores in specific cities in Germany and the Netherlands.

    However, if the road testing is successful the pizza delivery robots could soon be rolled out to other countries in Europe, as well as further afield. Don Meij, Domino’s Group CEO and Managing Director, said: “We are a global company and we are eager to progress innovative technology in all of the countries in which we operate – we are very excited to be partnering with Starship as it brings regular deliveries by robot one step closer to commercial operations.”

    The pizza firm does not expect robots to completely replace delivery drivers in the future, but rather to complement them. Don Meij explained: “Robotic delivery units will complement our existing delivery methods, including cars, scooters and e-bikes, ensuring our customers can get the hottest, freshest-made pizza delivered directly to them, wherever they are.

    “With our growth plans over the next five to 10 years, we simply won’t have enough delivery drivers if we do not look to add to our fleet through initiatives such as this.”

    Starship Technologies was launched in the UK in July 2014, and has already begun partnering with companies like Just East and Hermes Parcel Delivery, in addition to this new partnership with Domino’s.

    Domino’s is running the test project under its Domino’s Robotic Unit, an initiative that tests innovative delivery methods including robots and drones.

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