Dominos Pizza tests flying delivery drones


Domino's has begun testing New Zealand pizza delivery via the first commercial drone delivery service in the world.

The fast food chain has partnered with drone start-up Flirtey to launch the service, demonstrating the first stage with a pizza delivery in Auckland on Thursday, August 25.

pizza delivery drone domino'sThe Flirtey delivery drone works by lowering the pizza via a tether. In the event of getting lost or losing communication signal, the drone automatically returns back to its base.

Favourable air regulations in New Zealand will mean the autonomous delivery service could potentially scale rapidly across the country and prove feasibility for other markets such as the U.S.

“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,” said Matt Sweeney, CEO of Flirtey.

Domino's Group chief executive and managing director, Don Meij said the company had been investigating innovative and new delivery methods as business had grown.

The company will not offer the full range of its products for drone delivery - and only those customers within a certain distance from a store will be served from the air.

"With the increased number of deliveries we make each year, we were faced with the challenge of ensuring our delivery times continue to decrease and that we strive to offer our customers new and progressive ways of ordering from us," Meij said.

"Research into different delivery methods led us to Flirtey. Their success within the airborne delivery space has been impressive and it's something we have wanted to offer our customers," he said.

New aviation rules which came into force on August 1 last year allowing and control the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) for recreational and commercial purposes in New Zealand.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges said the government was continuing to review the laws to ensure New Zealand was at the forefront of the industry.

"As Transport Minister I have been actively promoting New Zealand as a test bed for new transport technology trials," Bridges said. "Our enabling laws and regulation means we have the ideal environment to trial all forms of technology."

"The trial is also a valuable opportunity for the Civil Aviation Authority, who are making sure that appropriate safety precautions are taken," he said.

If it is successful the company plans to extend the delivery method to six other markets - Australia, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Japan and Germany.

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