16 November 2016, Written by Chelsey Landford

IN a giant leap for pizza-lovers everywhere, Domino's has made the world's first commercial food delivery by drone in New Zealand today.

The Brisbane-based pizza giant shipped its first airborne order -  a peri-peri chicken pizza, and a chicken and cranberry pizza - to customers in Whangaparaoa, north of Auckland.

The unmanned aerial vehicle, known as "DRU Drone by Flirtey", was controlled using GPS navigation and overseen by a team of experts and a qualified drone pilot.

The delivery comes just three months after Domino's announced its partnership with drone delivery company Flirtey.

Domino's Group CEO, Don Meij, says the increased efficiency afforded by airborne delivery was the driving factor behind the company's investment in drone technology.

"DRU Drone by Flirtey offers the promise of safer, faster deliveries to an expanded delivery area, meaning more customers can expect to receive a freshly-made order within our ultimate target of 10 minutes," he says.

"This can avoid traffic congestion and traffic lights, and safely reduce the delivery time and distance by travelling directly to customer's homes.

"This is the future. I am proud of this partnership that has not only delivered this momentous event, but is leading the world for this important technology."

It appears customers are just as excited by the prospect, with Domino's GPS Driver Tracker Polls revealing 70 per cent would opt for drone delivery if given the opportunity.

Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeney says the rollout of DRU drones will place New Zealand at the forefront of technological innovation.

"The eyes of Silicon Valley and the world are on New Zealand, which has the most forward-thinking aviation regulations, and Flirty and Domino's are excited to bring world-leading technology, international investment and high paying jobs to the country," he says.

"We have been conducting daily testing, including final adjustments to our proprietary hardware and software, to perfect the service so that we can deliver the highest quality experience in the safest possible manner."

Further trial flights will be conducted from the Whangaparaoa store this week in preparation for an expanded delivery area next year.

Domino's is currently looking at opportunities for trials in its six other markets Australia, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Japan and Germany.


Author: Chelsey Landford





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