Customers near select Domino's Pizza locations in Europe could soon receive their orders from a unique delivery vehicle.
Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, which franchises the Michigan-based pizza chain in seven overseas countries, recently announced a partnership with robotics startup Starship Technologies. Starship's slow-moving, small robots are designed to move goods on sidewalks within a radius of up to two miles in 15 to 30 minutes.
The companies launched a pilot program to deliver Domino's pizzas using Starship's autonomous robots within a one-mile radius of stores in certain cities in Germany and the Netherlands.
“We’re shared in our vision with Domino’s to constantly improve convenience for the customer,” said Starship CEO Ahti Heinla, who previously helped found Skype.
Domino’s Robotic Unit, which tested delivery methods both on the ground and via airborne drone last year, will oversee the project.
Domino’s officials said that the robots would complement its existing delivery methods but warned that its expansion plans over the next decade would mean that "we simply won’t have enough delivery drivers if we do not look to add to our fleet through initiatives such as this."
“We are a global company and we are eager to progress innovative technology in all of the countries in which we operate," said Domino’s Group CEO Don Meij.