Starship Technologies decided to bypass many of the hurdles associated with drone delivery by air by opting to invest in ground based delivery robots, too. And in January, those autonomous robots started carrying out deliveries for DoorDash and Postmates in the U.S. Starship's latest partnership is all about delivering freshly made pizza.
Domino's and Starship are collaborating to allow Starship's six-wheeled robots to start delivering pizza across German and Dutch cities. The delivery network will be limited to begin with, focusing on selected stores and only carrying out deliveries within a one mile radius.
Don Meij, Domino's Group CEO and managing director, views the partnership as, "an important next step in bringing robot pizza deliveries to reality."
So important is robot deliveries to Domino's the company setup a dedicated division called DRU (Domino's Robotic Unit). DRU will oversee the Starship partnership, which if successful, is likely to expand rapidly across the company's more than 2,000 stores worldwide. Meij believes Domino's needs robots because, "with our growth plans over the next five to 10 years, we simply won't have enough delivery drivers."
Starship's robots are designed to carry out deliveries up to two miles away with a travel time of up to 30 minutes. With that in mind, it should be easy for Domino's to double the delivery range around each store if the robots prove successful. It's also not the only drone delivery Domino's is experimenting with. You may remember last year pizza was being delivered by air in New Zealand.