Domino’s drone ordering has arrived in New Zealand, just in time for the apocalypse.
America may be coming undone, but in the small nation of New Zealand, today is a day to celebrate innovation. Domino’s launched its drone delivery program in Whangaparaoa, New Zealand this week, a partnership with the drone startup Flirtey.
“Drones offer the promise of safer, faster deliveries to an expanded delivery area,” Domino’s group CEO Don Meiji told Lifehacker Australia. “Meaning more customers can expect to receive a freshly-made order within our ultimate target of 10 minutes.”
This is very much a pilot program, running at only one restaurant in the town of Whangaparaoa. The drones can deliver pizzas within 1.5 kilometers (about one mile) of the restaurant, flying at 18 mph. The company aims to expand this radius to 6 miles in the future. Flirtey’s drones will drop the pizzas into customers’ backyards using a tow cable, but the company told Quartz it’s working on solutions for people with less space.
This is a modest beginning for drone delivery, but it won’t be long before we’re getting pizzas (and everything else) autonomously delivered in the US. Flirtey moved its headquarters from New Zealand to Nevada earlier this year, where its performing extensive tests. Domino’s isn’t the only one getting into the drone delivery game. Google expects to be delivering packages this way in the U.S. sometime next year.
This exciting development will come at a cost for delivery drivers as they, like workers in many other professions, are replaced by machines. Meiji assured Lifehacker that “drivers are going to be around for a long time,” but why would they keep around a human workforce that requires salaries and benefits when a fleet of robots will do the trick?