Delivery Robots Making Pizza Runs for Domino's
When it comes to making purchases online, next-day delivery is so yesterday. Internet shopping is moving into same-day delivery, which could make life easier for consumers but dramatically upset the brick-and-mortar retails stores that rely on face-to-face buying. Here we take a look at the top two competitors in the field and how they get products to you the same day.
The two companies competing for your e-commerce dollars are Amazon.com and Google. Let's start with Amazon.
Fast food giant Domino's is to trial pizza delivery robots in New Zealand, it said Friday, describing the hi-tech, driverless units as a world first.
In a move enthusiastically backed by the New Zealand government, Domino's said it was working with authorities on plans to roll out its DRU (Domino's Robotic Unit).
The four-wheeler, developed in Australia, is just under a meter (three foot) high and contains a heated compartment that can hold up to 10 pizzas.
It is battery-powered and uses on-board sensors to avoid obstacles, with Domino's saying it can deliver pizzas within a 20-kilometer (12.5-mile) radius of a store before returning to recharge.
Customers are given a code when they order, which they enter onto a keypad to unlock the compartment containing their pizza.
"DRU is cheeky and endearing and we are confident that one day he will become an integral part of the Domino’s family," the chain's New Zealand general manager Scott Bush said.
"He's a road to the future and one that we are very excited about exploring further."
While a date for the trial is yet to be finalized, Transport Minister Simon Bridges said the government working with Domino's on the project and was keen for it to proceed.
"This is an exciting opportunity for New Zealand... over the last 12 months I’ve been actively and aggressively promoting New Zealand as a test bed for new transport technology trials," he said.
New Zealand is still working on regulations relating to driverless vehicles such as the DRU, which is designed to operate on both roads and footpaths.
See DRU in action below.