Domino’s this week expanded its mission to add drones to its delivery workforce.
It’s not as sexy as DRU, the wheeled robot Domino’s has been testing in Australia and New Zealand, but Starship will begin delivering pizzas for the company to anyone within a one-mile radius of shops in “select German and Dutch cities”.
Such announcements – and the delivery of a pizza by flying drone in New Zealand last year – feel like attention-grabbers.
But it’s not even an experiment for Domino’s. CEO Don Meij now speaks about drone delivery in terms of when and how many drones the company can roll out.
Starship is well-entrenched in the drone delivery market, flush with $17 million from Mercedes-Benz and its development of self-driving van “motherships” that could extend the range of robot fleets.
Consider that for a minute, and you might already be cottoning onto the possibility of an autonomous pizza van parked in your neighbourhood for the night, autonomously turning out delicious pizza and autonomously delivering it by DRU to your door five minutes out of the oven.
Starship delivers food in the swanky London village of Greenwich and has partnerships lined up with various postal services in the US, UK and several European countries.
So, there go the jobs for humans? Not so fast, Meij reckons. Here’s his statement to go with the Starship announcement:
“With our growth plans over the next five to 10 years, we simply won’t have enough delivery drivers if we do not look to add to our fleet through initiatives such as this.”
Boom. By adding this kind of service, Meij is confident Domino’s will become so popular, it won’t have a choice but to use drones.
It’s a statement that right on message with the technophiles through the ages – that as technology shifts up a gear, so does production and demand, and with it comes more jobs.
In this case, it’s your demand for drone-delivered pizzas. Somebody has to make those drones, right?