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Manna from heaven: Domino's expands Skydrop pizza trial


Domino’s will expand its trial of delivering pizzas by drone in New Zealand.

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The trial has already been going to for six years after initiating it in Auckland in 2016 and it follows concerns raised last year by Jack Cowin that there were real concerns about a shortage of delivery drivers over the next decade as online shopping increased in popularity and more companies needed a home delivery system.

While Domino’s doesn’t shy away from gimmicks, managing director Don Meij said drone delivery would be an essential component of its delivery system in the future and locations in NZ were being scouted to expand the trial later this year.

“Customers benefit from the convenience of having fresh, hot pizzas delivered with zero contact to their homes by electrically powered drones, which also reduces traffic congestion and greenhouse emissions,” Meij said.

In the US, regulators last year approved deliveries with drones that don’t require hands-on piloting, an issue that had delayed its implementation there. The battery life and the power capacity of drones was also an issue.

In Australia, Roll’d Vietnamese and Google subsidiary Wing deliver food with drones in Logan and Canberra. Wing has claimed the drones reduce emissions by 99 per cent compared with car delivery.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority in Australia allows drones to deliver ‘just-in-time’ supplies to customers who live in a 10 km radius from a base station. Items available for delivery include food and drinks, medicine or small items of hardware or recreational supplies. So far only Wing has been given approval to operate.

In Europe, drone delivery is growing. A study by Gaia Consulting in Finland suggested that by 2030 drone delivery could lead to 11 million fewer vehicle delivery kilometres reducing congestion and overall emissions.

Domino’s trial is with Flirtey Inc’s Skydrop which had developed faster, safer and quieter drones capable of carrying loads of 3.5 kg.







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