Domino’s Pizza Pilots Robot Car Delivery in Houston

The pizza chain is testing prepaid order delivery via autonomous shuttles by Nuro.

April 14, 2021

Domino's Autonomous Robot Car Delivery

HOUSTON—This week, Domino’s Pizza started testing autonomous delivery for customers who placed prepaid orders during particular times, Chain Store Age reports. The partnership between Nuro and Domino’s was announced in June 2019.

“There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space,” said Dennis Maloney, Domino's senior vice president and chief innovation officer. “This program will allow us to better understand how customers respond to the deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations. The growing demand for great-tasting pizza creates the need for more deliveries, and we look forward to seeing how autonomous delivery can work along with Domino's existing delivery experts to better support the customers' needs.”

Select consumers who prepay for their order via the chain’s website can choose Nuro’s self-driving R2 robotic car as the delivery method. Customers receive texts along R2’s delivery route and a personalized PIN to access their order via the robot’s touchscreen.

“Nuro's mission is to better everyday life through robotics. Now, for the first time, we're launching real world, autonomous deliveries with R2 and Domino's,” said Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder and president.

For several years, Domino’s has been trying out different delivery methods utilizing technology. In Miami, Domino’s partnered with Ford Motor Co. for a two-month self-driving test after a pilot in Michigan that focused on the last 50 feet of the delivery from vehicle to consumer. In 2019, the chain collaborated with Xevo to deliver in-car ordering to new vehicles. In 2018, Domino’s debuted its outdoor pizza delivery service, delivering pies to customers in parks, beaches and other landmarks.

Chipotle in March announced an investment in Nuro, and last year, both Walmart and Kroger announced partnerships with the autonomous delivery company.

Domino’s has traditionally provided its own means to delivery, with much success, a model many restaurants are exploring as third-party delivery apps squeeze restaurants with delivery fees.

Not a NACS Magazine or NACS Daily subscriber? Subscribe to NACS Magazine in a print and/or digital format to read the latest insights from industry thought leaders each month. Subscribe to NACS Daily to receive a roundup of industry news and trends in your inbox each weekday.