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Domino’s Pizza is having another foray into self-driving pizza delivery, They have partnered with autonomous driving tech startup Nuro in Houston to deliver pizza's to counter a driver shortage and growing demand. Domino's and Ford ran a pilot self driving project in 2017. Who get's the tip?

Self Driving Pizza

Nuro was founded by Dave Ferguson and Jiajun Zhu, two veterans of Google’s self-driving car project (which later became Waymo), and now includes a team of self-driving engineers with experience at Waymo, Apple, Uber, GM and Tesla. Japan's Softbank has invested nearly $1 billion in the startup.

Domino’s will use of Nuro’s autonomous test  R2 vehicles to deliver pizzas to people in Houston. Ordrs will be placed through their app or online. These Nuro’s second generation of its fully autonomous electric test car which will go into service later this year. Participating will be opt-in, with customers presented the self-driving option at check-out, and they’ll be given a PIN to unlock the doors for their pizza upon delivery.

Domino’s and: Ford ran a limited pilot program back in 2017, which was designed as a test to figure out the basics around consumer expectations for interacting with such a service. The test ended but clearly they got enpugh out of it to have another run. This test is scheduled to start late this year and could expand in 2020.

Domino's has more than 6,000 restaurants in the U.S. and, with the labor market tight, the company is experiencing a driver shortage, with as many as 10,000 open positions nationwide, according to Kevin Vasconi, the company's chief information officer. The Nuro partnership will help the chain determine if autonomous vehicles are a way for its restaurants to keep up with demand during busy times when drivers are in short supply, he said.

Domino's is credited with popularizing delivery, something that began with pizza but now is commonplace across the entire restaurant industry, as customers increasingly opt for the convenience of eating at home.

Kroger Co. has done a test with Nuro in Arizona and is currently using its autonomous driving technology in Houston for grocery delivery. Uber is looking to expand it's Uber Eats business with self driving technology also.

From The TradersCommunity Research Desk

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