It's a pretty well known fact that Domino's has the food delivery game on lock. In 2016, customers can order a pizza on Twitter, have their pies delivered by 419-pound robots, and enjoy a fresh slice of 'za after its been cooked in the car on the way to their house. Now, Domino's is looking to take over one more facet of the pizza game on their way to total delivery dominance: airspace. On Thursday, the global pizza chain successfully delivered it's first hot pie via drone in New Zealand.
According to a press release, the flight was a collaboration with Flirtey— a US-based start-up that touts real-time delivery by flying robots—and "utilized state-of-the-art packaging that retained the temperature and taste of the freshly cooked pizza."
The successful flight, which was conducted under the watchful eye of the country's Civil Aviation Authority, means that Domino's and Flirtey can begin sending pizzas by drone later this year. Still, American 'za-lovers will have to wait a bit longer before they start seeing airborne robots clutching mediocre fast-food pies; for now, the program is only available in New Zealand.
“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,” Matt Sweeny, the CEO of Flirtey, said in a statement. “New Zealand has the most forward-thinking aviation regulations in the world, and with the new U.S. drone regulations taking effect on Aug. 29, Flirtey is uniquely positioned to bring the same revolutionary Flirtey drone delivery service to partners within the United States.”
The delivery drones themselves are made out of carbon fiber, aluminum, and other 3D printed components. The pizzas are lowered to customers by a tether system, and Flirtey's drones are built with a number of safety features incase the device's battery every dies or its GPS signal gets lost.
While airlifting pizza marks new terrain for the company, Flirtey has already made deliveries with other companies in the US. Last month, a Flirtey drone delivered an ice-cold Slurpee and a hot cup of coffee from a 7-Eleven in Reno, Nevada.
With new aviation regulations expected next week, drone delivery might become the norm sooner rather than later.