Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd. (DPE) and Reno, Nev.-base drone company Flirtey have partnered to create what they say is the first commercial pizza-by-drone delivery model.
The two companies exhibited the first stage of their partnership with a demonstration of pizza transport by drone in Auckland, New Zealand, today. The demo was also attended by the country’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Simon Bridges, minister of transport.
Flirtey says its unmanned aircraft system (UAS) autonomously delivered a freshly cooked Domino’s pizza and retained the temperature and taste of the food during the flight. The demonstration was conducted under New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Rules Part 101.
Flirtey says it will expand the Domino’s partnership with flights to customer homes later this year from a select New Zealand store. DPE is the master franchiser for the Domino’s Pizza brand in Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Japan and Germany. Across these seven markets, DPE and its franchisees operate over 2,000 stores.
According to Flirtey, Domino’s has repeatedly invested in new delivery technology, including DRU, the Domino’s Robotic Unit, which is a land-based delivery robot.
“Partnering with Flirtey to revolutionize the delivery experience is an achievement that will set our company apart in the minds of customers and change the way delivery is conducted around the world,” says Don Meij, group CEO and managing director of Domino’s Pizza Enterprises.
“Launching the first commercial drone delivery service in the world is a landmark achievement for Flirtey and Domino’s; soon you will be able to order a Flirtey to deliver your pizza on-demand,” adds Matt Sweeny, CEO of Flirtey. “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.”
The Flirtey delivery UAS is constructed from carbon fiber, aluminium and 3D printed components. It is a lightweight, autonomous and electrically driven UAS that lowers its cargo via tether. In addition, it 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 of Aviation New Zealand, to join its New Zealand board to help drive rapid growth of operations. In addition, Flirtey says it is actively hiring drone operators and engineers in both the U.S.and New Zealand.