Nuro’s self-driving robot will deliver Domino pizza orders to customers in Houston

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Domino’s Pizza will begin delivering pizzas via Nuro self-driving cars in Houston this week as part of a pilot program, the company announced Monday. The company says that “select customers” in Houston who place a prepaid order at the Woodland Heights store on certain dates and times can have their pizza delivered by a Nuro R2 robot.

This is how pizza delivery works: a customer places and pays for an order online at the Woodland Heights store and chooses to have the order delivered by the R2. The customer will receive a unique PIN code via SMS, along with updates on the location of the vehicle. When the robot car arrives, the customer enters the PIN code on his touchscreen, which opens the doors of the R2. Pizza follows.

A customer collects her pizzas from Nuro’s R2 delivery robot.
Image: Dominoes

Nuro’s R2 was the first self-driving vehicle to receive approval from the United States Department of Transportation last February, giving it a special exemption from federal safety requirements. Founded in 2018 by two former Google engineers, Nuro partnered with Domino’s in 2019 for the Houston pizza delivery pilot, which is now finally rolling out.

Nuro vehicles are already being used for grocery deliveries and deliveries to CVS Pharmacy stores in Houston. Last April, Nuro said it would use its vehicles to transport medical supplies around two stadiums in California that were being converted into treatment facilities for patients with COVID-19.

“This program will allow us to better understand how customers respond to deliveries, how they interact with the robot and how it affects store operations,” Dennis Maloney, Domino’s chief innovation officer, said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing how autonomous delivery can work with Domino’s existing delivery experts to better support customer needs.”