Domino’s has wasted no time in ramping up its innovations since opening the doors on its Innovation Garage in August. And at an event held at the facility this week, the pizza chain-turned-tech company highlighted a couple of the top innovations it is currently working on.
Nation’s Restaurant News, who was at the event, reported on these developments, which are geared towards getting pizzas to customers’ doorsteps as fast and as seamlessly as possible.
GPS tracking technology topped the list of developments the company is working on. Earlier this year, Domino’s started testing its system that lets customers and stores track drivers in 27 company-owned locations around Phoenix, Arizona. The system allows customers to see their driver’s progress on a map and receive a notification when their pizza is just a couple minutes away. Store managers can also track drivers via a screen inside the store. Domino’s has said it will roll out this tracking technology to all U.S. stores by the end of 2019.
At the Innovation Garage this week, the company wouldn’t give data on how much GPS tracking improves the pizza delivery experience, but said Domino’s locations are seeing improvements and that more of them are adopting the technology.
Speaking of cars, the company also said at the event that it has finished its testing of autonomous delivery in Houston, TX, and is ready to officially roll the program out in that city. Domino’s piloted driverless delivery this past summer, teaming up with a company called Nuro, who makes a fully automated, low-speed vehicle about half the size of a regular car.
With Nuro, customers who select the “autonomous” option when ordering a pizza use a PIN to unlock the car when it arrives and retrieve their pizza.
For now, autonomous delivery via Nuro will be concentrated on the downtown Houston area. Domino’s didn’t say whether a larger rollout is planned for other parts of the city or the U.S. However, highlighting the struggles around rising labor costs and the struggle to find enough drivers, Domino’s Chief Digital Officer Dennis Maloney said at the event, “This is the future of our company.”