Flirtey flies pies for Domino’s in New Zealand

Domino’s Pizza Enterprises has demonstrated delivery of hot pizzas by drone in Auckland, New Zealand.

The company has a long history of embracing high-tech concepts. Last year, they tested out a four-wheeled, driverless pizza delivery vehicle. And in 2012, Domino’s launched a casual build-a-pizza game that also let players order the pizza they built digitally for real life delivery.

The company also uses e-bikes and electric scooters for delivery. In a press statement, Domino’s Group CEO and Managing Director Don Meij said:

“We’ve always said that it doesn’t make sense to have a 2-tonne machine delivering a 2-kilogram order…drones allow us to extend [our] delivery area by removing barriers such as traffic and access [and] deliver further afield than we currently do to our rural customers while reaching our urban customers in a much more efficient time.”

The provider of Domino’s aerial logistics service was Flirtey, a startup headquartered in Reno, Nevada, that makes delivery drones and packaging to keep contents safe and hot as they travel through the sky.

Flirtey’s drones were also used to fly medicine ship-to-shore in New Jersey and to deliver Slurpees and snacks to customers in Reno, Nevada for 7-Eleven, recently.

In 2015, New Zealand’s government made commercial drone delivery legal in their lower airspace. The U.S. Government has not yet figured out the exact rules to enable mainstream adoption of commercial drone deliveries.

But a new rule, Part 107, is going into effect on Monday in the U.S. that allows for commercial use of unmanned aircraft that weigh under 55 pounds by people and companies who have registered as operators and registered their drones with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The Department of Transportation and the FAA’s “Small UAS” rule requires drone users, among other things, to always fly within the line of the operator’s sight and not to fly over people until further best practices and safety standards are researched and developed.

Domino’s has said that it wants to become the first corporation– ahead of Google, Amazon and others who have invested heavily in drone delivery– to offer drone delivery to customers in a mainstream way.

The Flirtey and Domino’s flight in Auckland was just an initial demonstration of what Domino’s calls its DRU Drone, or Domino’s Robotics Unit drone.