|The DRU won't be roaming Australian streets within the immediate future, however Domino's has unveiled the prototype "to demonstrate just how serious they are about informing regulation in this space".|
"The prototype has been purpose-built with sleek, refined forms combined with a friendly persona and lighting to help customers identify and interact with it," Domino's states.
"DRU is a four-wheeled vehicle with compartments built to keep the customer's order piping hot and drinks cold whilst travelling on the footpath at a safe speed from the store to the customer's door."
The DRU is able to navigate from a starting point to its destination, selecting the best path of travel, with on-board sensors providing for the identification of obstacles, which can be avoided if necessary.
"This highlights what can happen when disruptive thinking is fostered - it turns into a commercially viable and revolutionary product," Domino's Group CEO and managing director Don Meij commented. "It allows Domino's to explore new concepts and push the boundaries of what is possible for our customers.
"The DRU prototype is only the first step in our research and development as we continue to develop a range of innovations set to revolutionise the entire pizza ordering experience."
The DRU, developed within Domino's DLAB purpose-built lab, is powered by technology from Australian start-up Marathon Robotics.
Domino's states that it has been working with the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads, along with other global partners, in ensuring the concept meets relevant legislative requirements as it is trialled and tested.
DRU has been involved in a number of customer deliveries in restricted streets, identified by the department under special permit, operated in semi-autonomous mode to ensure it complies with current regulation, with Domino's noting of the trials that they "are a big step forward in commercialising fully autonomous delivery vehicles".
"DRU is cheeky and endearing and we are confident that one day he will become an integral part of the Domino's family," Meij commented. "He's a road to the future and one that we are very excited about exploring further."