No driver, no problem: Domino’s to test out self-driving pizza-delivery van in Houston

No driver, no problem: Domino’s to test out self-driving pizza-delivery van in Houston


Order a Domino’s pizza this fall in Houston and it may arrive in a futuristic self-driving test van. 

Autonomous car startup company Nuro said Monday that it will partner with Domino’s for self-driving pizza deliveries from one Domino’s location in Houston. It’s the company’s second major delivery gig after Nuro began delivering groceries for Kroger supermarkets last year. Nuro is already familiar with Houston; in March, it began delivering Kroger groceries.

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Now, Domino’s will trust the pint-sized autonomous vehicles to dish out steaming hot pies. The pizza chain said it gives customers another option for delivery and will also help a store when a rush occurs. When human drivers are at capacity for deliveries, the self-driving pizza delivery car can help meet demand.

It’s not Domino’s first time with self-driving pizza deliveries cars. In 2017, Michigan-based company worked with Ford to use the automaker’s self-driving cars for pizza deliveries as well. Domino’s said it wanted to gain insight into how customer reacted to retreiving their own pizza from an autonomous car. There, a unique code unlocked the Heatwave compartment, which keeps the pizza toasty, and the self-driving car was back on its way. Nuro didn’t say how the operation will work with Domino’s but text message instructions and a code to unlock a storage area is often the norm in these kinds of trials.

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Don’t expect many Nuro vehicles to suddenly flood Houston streets with pizzas onboard. Domino’s said the trial will be relegated to just one store to start and it’s unclear if the self-driving delivery will be an option for customers, or if the company will send the autonomous car out randomly. The pilot begins this fall.

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