A few years ago, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed the online retailer’s plan to use drones to autonomously deliver individual packages to customers’ doorsteps. Today, Domino’s Australia revealed the “Domino’s Robotic Unit” – something the company calls the world’s first commercial autonomous delivery vehicle. But there’s one major difference between the two delivery systems – the Domino’s Robotic Unit is a non-flying ground-based autonomous delivery vehicle.
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Domino’s gave select media a sneak peak of the first prototype in Brisbane, Australia – which Lifehacker Australia says will also be testing ground for the delivery system.
The Domino’s Robotic Unit (DRU) was developed in collaboration with Australian technology startup Marathon Robotics over a period of about eight months.
According to ZDNet, DRU successfully performed a number of deliveries in the Brisbane area under a special government permit.
Despite initial delivery success, don’t expect to see DRU in a neighborhood near you anytime soon.
“This is a long journey, even when DRU hits the streets, we will still be constantly monitoring him for complications. Things will always go wrong along the way and DRU will always be about safety first. It seems pretty crazy to us that 1.5-2 tonne vehicles deliver a few hundred grams of pizza,” ZDNet quoted Domino’s CEO and Managing Director Don Meij as saying.
The DRU itself tips the scales at about 420 pounds, can reach speeds of up to 12.5 MPH and can travel around 12.5 miles on a single charge.
Meet #DRU – The newest team member to join #DominosAU! He's the world's first autonomous #pizza delivery vehicle! pic.twitter.com/aCfYhoffpd
— Domino's Australia (@Dominos_AU) March 17, 2016
Meij also indicated the DRU could be priced at approximately $30,000 AU, or about $23,000 USD.[VIA Lifehacker and ZDNet]