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Domino’s launches autonomous delivery with Nuro’s R2 robot in Houston

Woodland Heights target of new AI-powered program

Domino’s Pizza has partnered with autonomous delivery company Nuro, launching self-driving deliveries in Houston as part of a beta. Nuro blends robotics and AI to power autonomous delivery through its R2 robot. The Woodland Heights neighborhood in Houston is the target of the new pizza fulfillment program.

How Nuro’s R2 robot delivery will work with Domino’s

Customers who order from Houston’s Woodland Heights store at dominos.com can select the Nuro R2 delivery option. Select customers will be chosen for occupantless delivery in the first vehicle with regulatory approval by the US Department of Transportation.

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In this new Domino’s Pizza delivery experience, customers who are selected for the robot delivery will receive text messages to stay current on the location, or they can also check a confirmation page to track the order by R2’s GPS. Upon arrival, a PIN can be used to open the compartment holding the hot pizza order.

Dennis Maloney, Domino’s senior vice president and chief innovation officer, commented, “There is still so much for our brand to learn about the autonomous delivery space. This program will allow us to better understand how customers respond to the deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations. The growing demand for great-tasting pizza creates the need for more deliveries, and we look forward to seeing how autonomous delivery can work along with Domino’s existing delivery experts to better support the customers’ needs.”

Tech companies, like Nuro, hit home run in restaurant space

In this new Domino’s Pizza delivery experience, customers who are selected for the robot delivery will receive text messages to stay current on the location or can check a confirmation page to track the order by R2’s GPS
Nuro’s R2 robot starts delivering pizza at select homes in Houston’s Woodland Heights neighborhood. Photo by Domino’s Pizza.

In March, Chipotle Mexican Grill took an equity stake in Nuro as part of its Series C round of funding. Details of that transaction weren’t disclosed. Companies are increasingly interested in the potential that technology companies bring to the restaurant space. This is evidenced by Yum Brands’ acquisition of marketing tech companies Kvantum and TicTuk and Squarespace’s recent purchase of the Tock restaurant ordering and reservations platform.

“Nuro’s mission is to improve everyday life through robotics. Now, for the first time, we’re launching real world, autonomous deliveries with R2 and Domino’s,” said Dave Ferguson, Nuro co-founder and president. Nuro had previously tested autonomous delivery in Houston. In addition, Phoenix and Silicon Valley have also seen Nuro’s self-driving vehicles at work in beta runs.

Ferguson added, “We’re excited to introduce our autonomous delivery bots to a select set of Domino’s customers in Houston. We can’t wait to see what they think.”

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R2 occupantless delivery at Woodland Heights Domino’s, 3209 Houston Avenue, Houston, TX 77009

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