Pizza drone delivery to customers’ homes is set to begin later this year in New Zealand following a successful demonstration in Auckland last week.
At the demonstration, carried out under Civil Aviation Rules Part 101 , Domino’s Pizza Enterprises and drone delivery company Flirtey, showed how the commercial pizza drone delivery service works.
Observers at the event, which was also attended by the Civil Aviation Authority and Minister of Transport Simon Bridges, saw how the drone undertook an autonomous flight to successfully deliver a hot Domino’s pizza.
Domino’s Pizza Enterprises have teamed up with drone delivery company Flirtey to create the world’s first pizza drone delivery service in New Zealand. Image: Flirtey
Matt Sweeny, CEO of Flirtey, a U.S.-based startup specializing in drone delivery services, says:
“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.”
The demonstration marks the final step in the approval process for the drone.
The next step will be when the two companies launch drone flights to deliver hot pizzas to customers’ homes from a select New Zealand outlet later this year.
Not only did the flight demonstrate the safety and technology of the pizza drone delivery service, it also showed how the state-of-the-art packaging preserved the heat and taste of the freshly cooked pizza throughout.
New Zealand’s regulations are favourable
Domino’s and Flirtey chose New Zealand as the launch market because its regulations are favourable toward businesses that want to expand using unmanned aircraft technology.
The partners say they will gradually test the new technology and the delivery service in New Zealand.
Domino’s Pizza Enterprises operate over 2,000 stores in seven countries: Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, where they recently opened their 100th store.
The company (a franchise of Domino’s Pizza) is hoping to trial pizza drone delivery in its other markets.
Don Meij, Group CEO and Managing Director of Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, says as the company has grown, and the number of pizza deliveries has increased significantly, they are constantly looking at new and futuristic ways of delivering pizzas. He adds:
“Domino’s customers can expect the freshest and fastest pizza delivery service at the same quality they have come to expect from us thanks to Flirtey’s industry-leading technology.”
Built-in safety features
The Flirtey drone – a lightweight, autonomous, electrically-driven unmanned aerial vehicle – is made from carbon fibre, aluminium and 3-D printed components.
It uses a tether to lower its cargo and it has built-in safety features such as: low-battery return to a safe location and auto-return home should GPS signals be too weak or communication be lost.
Flirtey have recently signed partnership deals with 7-Eleven to deliver over-the-counter medicines and convenience goods in the United States.
The company is also looking at opportunities to expand drone delivery services in food, medicine, and online retail, in the U.S. and New Zealand.
Interesting related article: “Amazon granted patent to use delivery drones for home surveillance.”