HOUSTON – On Monday, Domino’s Pizza announced a new autonomous delivery system using the company, Nuro. The delivery service will go into effect later this year.
Nuro is a robotics company that has created a self-driving service used for driverless delivery purposes.
Kevin Vasconi, Domino’s executive vice president and chief information officer said, “Nuro’s vehicles are specifically designed to optimize the food delivery experience, which makes them a valuable partner in our autonomous vehicle journey. The opportunity to bring our customers the choice of an unmanned delivery experience, and our operators an additional delivery solution during a busy store rush, is an important part of our autonomous vehicle testing."
Below are five things to know about these new driverless cars and their delivery process.
1. The delivery will be with the R2 vehicle.
The new vehicle is designed to be a fully self-driving vehicle for delivery and therefore does not have room in the car for a driver or passengers. Nuro is currently implementing a safety and co-driver program as they test these vehicles out on public roads. “Safety drivers are responsible for protecting themselves and the public through safe, conservative driving, and when needed disengaging appropriately from self-driving mode. The co-driver is responsible for monitoring the system using a laptop, calling out any potential issues, providing detailed feedback to help developers improve software quality, and acting as a second pair of eyes for the driver,” the company said.
2. Nuro has implemented numerous safety measures for its vehicles.
According to Nuro, safety measures include: lower speed operation: a lighter, narrower and more nimble vehicle: ability to self-sacrifice: and a safety-enhanced vehicle front end. The cars will drive at or below 25 mph. “In the unlikely case of a vehicle ever encountering an unavoidable collision scenario, a driverless, passengerless vehicle also has the unique opportunity to prioritize the safety of humans, other road users, and occupied vehicles over its contents,” said the Nuro website.
3. Once customers have placed a Domino’s delivery, they are able to track the vehicle via the Domino’s app.
When the vehicle arrives, they will unlock the compartment in the Nuro vehicle to get their delivery via a unique PIN code that will be provided to them after placing the order.
4. Nuro currently delivers for Kroger in Houston ZIP codes 77401, 77096, 77005 and 77025.
You can place an order via the Kroger app or kroger.com for a delivery fee of $5.95. Nuro previously delivered in Scottsdale for Fry’s Food and Drug.
5. There are over 16,100 Domino’s stores in over 85 markets.
Over 65% of their sales are via digital markets. Houston is the first and only city so far to join their partnership with Nuro. In 2017 and 2018, Domino’s partnered with Ford’s driverless vehicles in Ann Arbor and Miami.