Domino’s demonstrated its ability to deliver food via a drone Thursday in New Zealand and plans to test actual deliveries to customers next month.
A Domino’s customer who requests a drone delivery will receive a notification when their delivery is approaching. After going outside and hitting a button on their smartphone, the drone will lower the food via a tether. Once the package is released, the drone pulls the tether back up and flies back to the Domino’s store.
Initially there may be an extra charge for drone delivery but in the long term he hopes to deliver at no added cost. Test deliveries to actual customers will begin September 26 out of one Auckland store.
The drone flights, powered by American drone company Flirtey, will be automated, but a human will be nearby to supervise. There are limits on how far Domino’s will be able to deliver. New Zealand’s drone rules don’t currently allow a drone to fly farther than the drone’s operator can see, but Domino’s said it’s working with authorities to remove barriers.
In New Zealand, Domino’s only sells pizzas in one size, which simplifies the challenge of a drone trying to fly in windy conditions with a large pizza box. Bush said Domino’s would be able to carry loads up to 5.5 pounds.