The next time you order pizza from Domino’s you might be surprised at the new delivery person, as it could be a drone instead.
Domino's Pizza Enterprises Ltd. and Flirtey have partnered on the first commercial pizza-by-drone delivery model. The two companies exhibited the first stage of their partnership with a demonstration of pizza delivery by drone in Auckland, New Zealand, on August 25.
The Flirtey drone conducted an autonomous flight to deliver a hot Domino's pizza, showcasing the scalable drone delivery technology developed by Flirtey. The demonstration was conducted under Civil Aviation Rules Part 101 and marks a final step in Flirtey's approval process, following which the partnership will expand with flights to customer homes later this year from a select New Zealand store.
Flirtey's autonomous technology will allow the system to scale rapidly for a delivery- based business like Domino's, which recently opened its 100th store in New Zealand. Domino's Pizza Enterprises operates more than 2,000 stores in seven markets: New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Japan and Germany.
"New Zealand has the most forward-thinking aviation regulations in the world, and with the new U.S. drone regulations taking effect on Aug. 29, Flirtey is uniquely positioned to bring the same revolutionary Flirtey drone delivery service to partners within the United States," says Matt Sweeny, CEO of Flirtey.
The Flirtey delivery drone is constructed from carbon fiber, aluminum and 3D printed components. It is a lightweight, autonomous and electrically driven unmanned aerial vehicle. It lowers its cargo via tether and has built- in safety features such as low battery return to safe location and auto-return home in case of low GPS signal or communication loss.
This partnership with Domino's follows Flirtey's recently signed partnership with 7-Eleven to deliver over-the-counter medicine and convenience goods in the U.S. Flirtey has also reached agreement with Samantha Sharif, former CEO at Aviation New Zealand, to join its New Zealand board to help drive rapid growth of operations. In addition, Flirtey is actively hiring drone operators and engineers in both the United States and New Zealand.
Domino's has repeatedly invested in new delivery technology, including DRU, the Domino's Robotic Unit, a land-based delivery robot.