First drone delivered pizza touches down

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What’s an acceptable time to wait for a pizza delivery? 30 minutes? 15 minutes? Our expectations around home-delivered hot cheese may soon change, thanks to the arrival of flying pizza pies. Domino’s has marked the beginnings of the pizza-by-drone era, carrying out the first store-to-customer delivery in New Zealand today.

Domino’s has toyed with the idea of drone delivered pizza for a little while, showing off a promotional “DomiCopter” back in 2013. But back in August it showed it wasn’t messing around, teaming up with US-based drone company Flirtey and gaining approval to kick off trials in New Zealand.

And following daily testing and tweaks to the hardware and software, Domino’s has now gone ahead and loaded a Peri-Peri Chicken Pizza and a Chicken and Cranberry Pizza into a drone’s undercarriage and sent it on its way. Flirtey’s drone flew autonomously using GPS to the customer’s home in Whangaparaoa, 25 km (15.5 mi) north of Auckland. And then at 11:19 am, it lowered the meal down onto a designated landing zone by cable.

Customers tuck into their drone-delivered-pizza

Eating pizza at that time of morning may or may not be legal, but there can be no questions about the legality of the delivery method. Flirtey gained permission from New Zealand’s Civil Aviation authority to carry out the deliveries and CEO Matt Sweeney has previously told us that with some of the most liberal aviation laws in the world, the country is ahead of the curve in integrating drones into its airspace.

With this first delivery under its belt, Domino’s says it is now working to expand the service across greater distances and with greater payloads, and although we’re not quite there yet, we are getting closer to a time when you can push a button on your smartphone and be diving into a drone-delivered pizza less than 10 minutes later. It also says it is looking into expanding the service to Australia, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Japan and Germany.

  • Sven

    could be the start of a revolution in Pattaya, the potential is enormous, drone delivered Beer, Hookers, Ladyboys, Policeman, all would fit nicely in a large drone, just type in your GPS coordinates and give your credit card number in a special android app and the delivery will be on its way, if it dont crash or get stolen/shotdown/run out of diesel

  • Homebrew

    To safely land a pizza on your doorstep here, the drone would have to be armed to shoot packs of soi dogs ripping apart the package once it lands, assuming it would even be possible to get it through the tangle of overhead wires. It would have to be a free service, as almost nobody has a credit card here.

    • Ken

      As you rightly point out, dogs would steal the pizza. Maybe another thing to consider would be Thai men stealing the drone? Or some brain dead teenage gang shooting it down?

    • USPatriot

      Does any company here besides a few gas stations take credit cards.

  • Jack La Motta

    I´ll have a Pizza Cal-drone with extra Dronions

  • USPatriot

    Throw a stick into the rotors and free pizza