Domino's tests drone delivery of pizza in New Zealand

Domino's said the goal is to eventually deliver all of their pizzas using drones.
By Stephen Feller  |  Updated Nov. 17, 2016 at 8:23 AM
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WHANGAPARAOA, New Zealand, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- The days of lost pizza delivery people are almost over -- Domino's successfully delivered a pair of pies to a suburban New Zealand couple using a drone.

Domino's Pizza delivered a peri-peri chicken pizza, and a chicken and cranberry pizza Wednesday to a customer in Whangaporaoa, 15 miles north of Auckland, New Zealand, using a drone, the first commercial delivery using one since the company demonstrated the technology several months ago.

Domino's pulled off its first delivery by drone in August, testing a system they'd been designing since March to deliver a pie to Domino's Group CEO Don Meij, New Zealand Minister for Transport Simon Bridges and the CEO of Flirtey, the company operating the drones, Matt Sweeny.

The hope, said Domino's General Manager of New Zealand Scott Bush, is for all of the company's deliveries there to be done by drone within the next few years, which they expect will open up new jobs for pilots and other drone-related positions.

"Part of our internal process is our project 3-10, which is where the customer can pick up an order within 3 minutes, and a pizza is delivered within 10 minutes still fresh and hot," Bush said. "With our partnership with Flirtey it is going to cut down times even further where we can anticipate drone deliveries within seven to eight minutes in the future."

Domino's partnered with Flirtey, a drone delivery startup, to design the delivery system: an unmanned drone controlled using GPS and a drone pilot. The pizza delivered to Emma and Johnny Norman took 2 to 3 minutes to fly from the store to the customers' home.

In addition to New Zealand, Domino's is looking into using drones to deliver in Australia, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Japan and Germany.

"We invested in this partnership and technology, because we believe drone delivery will be an essential component of our pizza deliveries, so even more customers can receive the freshest, hottest pizza we can offer," Meij told The New Zealand Herald. "We expect [drones] to be an essential addition to our delivery fleet."

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