Advertisement
Munchies

Domino’s Pizza Drone Just Had a Historic Test Flight

Domino’s has completed the first test flight of its DRU Drone in New Zealand this week, deeming it a “great success” and placing it high in the running to become the first company offering mass drone delivery.

by Nick Rose
Aug 26 2016, 5:00pm

The stoner dream of flying delivery pizzas is one step closer to becoming a reality.

In addition to helping farmers, transporting asparagus (with varying levels of success), saving guacamole, and spying on cows, drones will soon be reinventing the grease wheel, or at least how it is delivered.

Make no mistake—the age of flying pizzas is upon us and we will soon be living in the future. Domino's has completed the first test flight of its DRU Drone in New Zealand this week, deeming it a "great success" and placing it high in the running to become the first company offering mass drone delivery.

READ MORE: Your Pizza Could Soon Be Delivered by Amazon Drones

Calling DRU's maiden voyage a "test flight" might give the event a military-industrial complex vibe, but the reality is far more benign. A video posted on Domino's YouTube channel documented the "historic" unmanned delivery, as witnessed by Domino's CEO Don Meij, New Zealand Minister for Transport Simon Bridges, and Matt Sweeny, CEO of Flirtey, the company that developed the drone.

The three men gaze at the sky, clapping proudly as the drone flies over farmland, gently dropping two pizzas onto a picnic blanket via a long string. They then rush over to pick up their delivery, exchange a very awkward handshake, open the pizza box, and finally take the obligatory bite of pizza, all nodding firmly in approval at how good the pie tastes. After a job well done, DRU the drone quietly flies away from the three Elon Musks of pizza, perhaps to make another delivery.

But why pour all of that time, money, energy, and handshakes into flying pizzas? Domino's says this test flight was way more than a publicity stunt. It was also attended by the country's Civil Aviation Authority, as part of the approval process for Flirtey's drone, which Domino's promises will "connect people with pizza via CAA-approved trial store-to-door drone deliveries."

"We've always said that it doesn't make sense to have a two tonne machine delivering a two kilogram order," Don Meij said in a statement. "Domino's is all about providing customers with choice and making customer's lives easier. Adding innovation such as drone deliveries means customers can experience cutting-edge technology and the convenience of having their Supreme pizza delivered via air to their door. This is the future."

Meij added that he intends on making DRU the first commercial drone delivery service and that this test flight was a step closer "to the time where you can push a button on your smartphone and have Domino's delivered by drone to your home."

As significant as this is for the future of pizza, Domino's is not the only company looking to deliver food via unmanned drone. Just weeks ago, Amazon announced an agreement with the UK Civil Aviation Authority to test delivery drones that could also be easily equipped to deliver pizzas.

But with all of this competition to rule the skies, one can't help but wonder whether Amazon and Domino's are also secretly developing Predator-style pizza drones with offensive capabilities like shooting down competing delivery drones with high-speed dough balls.