Nov 16, 2016 | By Benedict

In what is said to be the world’s first pizza-by-drone delivery service, drone company Flirtey and Domino’s Pizza Enterprises are now offering autonomous delivery of Domino’s pizzas to select customer homes. A recent poll found that 70% of Domino’s customers would happily use the service.

A Flirtey 3D printed drone delivering Domino's pizza

Depending on your viewpoint, a drone-based pizza delivery service is either the most awesome thing ever or the beginning of the end of days. Frankly, we can’t fully decide which side we’re on. Sure, we love technology, and of course we’re partial to an XXL ExtravaganZZa every now and then, but we’re also quite scared: for the safety of our pizzas hurtling through stormy skies, for the careers of delivery staff, and for the overall state of mankind. Regardless, pizza-by-drone is here.

Since testing out its first 3D printed pizza drone at the end of August, Flirtey and Domino’s have been putting the finishing touches on their futuristic, exciting, and downright weird new pizza delivery service. As of this week, the service is now available to select customers in New Zealand, where the two companies will be keeping a close eye on proceedings to see how things turn out. The plan is to scale up the enterprise should things go smoothly.

Happy Domino's customers Emma and Johnny Norman

According to a press release put out yesterday, Flirtey’s DRU Drone by Flirtey service uses proprietary software and hardware, advanced autonomous technology, complex safety systems, and special packaging, all of which contribute to effective pizza delivery. This means that, should you get the chance to try out the new service, your pepperoni package will remain safe across a variety of weather conditions and suburban environments.

According to Flirtey, the project is now starting to gather momentum. “We are moving closer and closer to widespread store-to-door drone delivery,” said Matthew Sweeny, Flirtey CEO. “To conduct these deliveries in an urban environment while delivering a hot, fresh pizza, is a ­­­validation of our delivery system that assures Flirtey is prepared for mass market deliveries around the globe.”

Scott Bush (Domino's NZ), Emma Norman, Johnny Norman, Samantha Sharif (Flirtey NZ)

The Flirtey drone that will be used to deliver your yummy fresh Domino’s pizza is constructed from carbon fibre, aluminium, and 3D printed components. The UAV is incredibly advanced, with safety features such as low-battery return-to-safe-location programming and auto-return-home commands (in case of low GPS signal or communication loss) making it highly unlikely to get lost or crash.

Perhaps most importantly, the 3D printed drones—which do not have to contend with traffic—are incredibly quick. “Drones offer the promise of safer, faster deliveries to an expanded delivery area, meaning more customers can expect to receive a freshly-made order within our ultimate target of 10 minutes. This is the future,” said Don Meij, Domino's Group CEO and Managing Director.

The 3D printed drone delivery service follows other innovations such as the Hot Dog Crust

At present, Domino’s will use DRU Drone by Flirtey alongside its current delivery fleet, with the drone system being fully integrated into online ordering and GPS systems. While the new scheme might sound absurd to some, it appears that many pizza lovers are open to the new technology, with a recent customer poll finding that 70 percent of Domino's customers would use DRU Drone by Flirtey for their deliveries.

Domino’s is backing the project, perhaps the company’s biggest innovation since the Hot Dog Crust, to be a big success: “We are thrilled with the results of our trials, and look forward to expanding DRU Drone by Flirtey soon,” Meij added. “We invested in this partnership, and technology, because we believe drone delivery will be an essential component of our pizza deliveries, so even more customers can receive the freshest, hottest pizza we can offer.”

 

 

Posted in Fun with 3D Printing

 

 

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