Domino’s Pizza and Nuro will start pizza delivery by robotic vehicles
The US network Domino’s Pizza and start-up Nuro from Silicon Valley announced on Monday that they will launch pizza delivery by robotic vehicles in Houston this week, in an effort to make the most of the increase in online orders during the new coronavirus pandemic.
Founded in 2016 by two former engineers from Internet giant Google, Nuro received $ 940 million (€ 790.71 million) from the SoftBank Vision Fund.
It recently secured further investments from Woven Capital, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor. However, it did not disclose the amount.
The robotics company focused on developing a small vehicle for transporting packages at low speed, unlike other start-ups that deal with autonomous cars for people. Its product has already been approved by regulatory authorities for deployment. Only last year did Nuro get approval from US regulators to launch an unmanned delivery service.
Robotic pizza delivery will begin in Houston, and the service should be gradually expanded to “many places” as part of a long-term partnership, said Cosimo Leipold, head of partner relations at Nuro.
“It is generally difficult for large companies to hire enough drivers to meet demand,” he said in an email.
Leipold added that Nuro, which has also entered into partnership agreements with the Kroger, Walmart and CVS Health chains for the distribution of food and prescription medicines, has almost tripled its weekly deliveries in the first three months of the pandemic.