Dominos Pizza is testing what they claim is the world’s first autonomous delivery vehicle in New Zealand called the Domino’s Robotic Unit (DRU). This pizza delivery robot has four wheels, with sealed compartments that can keep up to 10 pizza’s hot by the time it reaches its destination. The DRU navigates by choosing a secure path at a safe speed from point to point and can go on both walkways and pavement. The customers are given a unique code that makes sure the only the buyer gets their pizza..
Domino’s has tried to infuse a little personality in the DRU by programming it to be “cheeky and endearing” so the customers can still interact with it. According to the company, they consider the DRU a “big step forward in the work Domino’s is doing in the future commercialization of this technology.” (see (see Domino’s site for more details). Dominos’ and the New Zealand government are working on a planned trial rollout.
There is no doubt this DRU could lower the cost of delivering pizzas but it also could mean there’s yet another service-related job where a human has to compete with a robot, that even has programmed responses to make it seem less mechanized.