In one small step for mankind, one giant step for pizza, Domino’s made the world’s first commercial delivery of food by drone in New Zealand today.
A peri-peri chicken pizza, and a chicken and cranberry pizza, were sent by drone to a customer in Whangaparaoa, 25km north of Auckland, at 11:19am, NZ time.
Domino’s CEO Don Meij, said the successful DRU Drone by Flirtey delivery came just three months after the companies announced their partnership.
“We believe drone delivery will be an essential component of our pizza deliveries,” Meij said.
“Today’s successful delivery was an important proof of this concept, DRU Drone by Flirtey can deliver the highest-quality meal to our customers, safely, and we are delighted at this milestone.
“Our partnership with Flirtey grew out of this drive to innovate. Their success within the airborne delivery space has been impressive and we’re proud to have partnered with them on this world first.”
The two companies spent the last three months working on trials, including food temperature testing, and gaining government approval.
New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority signed off on the project. The drone was autonomously controlled by a qualified drone pilot using GPS navigation.
Meij says drones offer the potential for “safer, faster deliveries to an expanded delivery area” while keeping the company’s 10 minute delivery target.
“They can avoid traffic congestion and traffic lights, and safely reduce the delivery time and distance by travelling directly to customers’ homes. This is the future,” he said.
“We will be conducting more delivery flights to customers from the Whangaparaoa store this week, and will use the information we gather to expand drone flights to a larger DRU Drone by Flirtey delivery area next year.”
“We expect DRU Drone by Flirtey to be an essential addition to our delivery fleet.”
Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeny said the success of their trial put the eyes of Silicon Valley and the world on New Zealand because it has “the most forward-thinking aviation regulations”.
“We are taking a ‘crawl, walk, run, fly’ approach to roll out drone delivery, and we are getting closer to the time where you can push a button on your smartphone and have Domino’s delivered by DRU Drone by Flirtey to your home,” he said.
Domino’s recent GPS Driver Tracker Polls revealed that 70% of customers would use DRU Drone by Flirtey for deliveries.
Australia’s first publicly-listed pizza company has more than 2,000 stores in seven markets and is looking to start drone delivery trials in Australia, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Japan and Germany.