Domino's Delivers Pizzas Autonomously in Houston

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai

Domino’s has launched autonomous pizza delivery in Houston, Texas this week. Customers can choose to have their meal delivered by Nuro’s R2 robot. Nuro has the first completely autonomous on-road delivery vehicle approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The Domino’s and Nuro combo is a single store offer for customers who choose limited R2 delivery. If selected, you receive text alerts updating R2’s location, and a PIN to claim your order. There’s GPS vehicle order tracking. The PIN is entered on the touch screen when R2 arrives. Boxes of hot food are revealed when the doors open.

Dennis Maloney, Domino’s SVP and chief innovation officer said, “We’re excited to continue innovating the delivery experience by testing Nuro autonomous delivery. There’s so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space. 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. Demand for pizza creates the need for more deliveries. We look forward to seeing how autonomous delivery can work along with Domino’s existing delivery to support our customers’ needs.”

Nuro’s mantra is better everyday life through robotics. Autonomous vehicles can deliver. Nuro’s autonomous delivery touts a safe, convenient, eco-friendly, driving alternative. Nuro has provided autonomous delivery to local communities in Texas, Arizona, and California, on the premise of safer streets and more livable cities. Helm’s Bakery trucks in Los Angeles couldn’t survive robberies. Will they highjack a robot full of pizzas?

[Images: Domino’s]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Apr 15, 2021

    In general I like this idea. But then I no longer have rotary-dial telephones in my home (it sounds like some of you must). This kind of thing will [eventually] do just fine in the neighborhoods which count. But a more near-term issue: "The PIN is entered on the touch screen when R2 arrives." So it's a mobile mini super spreader. Possibly Relevant Fact for April 2021: Did you know you can make your own pizza at home, and put whatever you want on it? No rules, no restrictions. Imagine that.

    • See 1 previous
    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Apr 15, 2021

      @SCE to AUX I paid big bucks just now for a polling company to survey interest in A) "Walking 29 feet to the side driveway to pick up delivered groceries from an R2 unit" vs. B) "Paying a human an average $7 tip to drop them on the front porch" Option A has a commanding lead. [7 US dollars would fund 40.4 ounces of mozzarella, 19.7 ounces of pepperoni, or 29.7 pounds of flour at current exchange rates. ("Not if you use Italian Double Zero Chef's Flour!" "Go away.")]

  • Sentience Sentience on Apr 15, 2021

    Houston makes sense. Nice wide streets, relatively flat land. Car centric neighborhood layouts. Looking forward to seeing something like this navigate around an older colonial era city, like Boston. Twisty hilly one ways everywhere. and that before you factor in the drivers and pedestrians.

    • Blppt Blppt on Apr 15, 2021

      "Where have you been???" "I got run over by a pizza robot!"

  • Carson D Honda and Toyota still make the best American cars.
  • Slavuta I just though, with this rate we could make Cinco De Mayo a national holiday as well. Since we have tens of millions of American Mexicans, and probably more than African Americans
  • Wjtinfwb Well, it LOOKS pretty great for 36 years old and 356k miles! I've seen plenty of 2 decade newer trucks that looked like a shrapnel bomb went off inside and and exterior that looked worse. This owner got everything out of that truck it had. Time to let it retire to the farm.
  • Wjtinfwb Stellantis. They've gone from Hero to Zero in 24 months with some really stupid decisions and allowing politicians to influence their business. They also hung onto old products way too long and relied on RAM and Jeep to pull them through. RAM plays in the most competitive market of all, full-size trucks and competition is brutal with Ford and GM keeping their foot to the floor on development and improvement. Chrysler now has one model, a 5 year old van. Dodge made a living off old cars with stupendous power, that's gone with the mothballing of the Hemi. The Hornet is an overpriced joke. Now they have new Durango Pursuit's self-destruction because of a plastic oil cooler that self destructs and dumps oil into the coolant lunching the engine. Grand Cherokee, a staple of Jeep has not been well received and has limited power options due to canning the Hemi. Now they've got to build interest around the Hurricane turbo in-line 6 in trucks, Charger's and Jeeps. If that engine turns out to be problematic its likely lights out in Sterling Heights.
  • Ajla Tim, any chance when you "pop on" you can have someone look into why comments under your authored posts don't allow any formatting, links, or editing?
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