Last February, Nuro's R2 became the first driverless vehicle to receive regulatory approval from the US Department of Transportation, granting it a special exemption from federal safety regulations. Nuro, founded in 2018 by two former Google engineers, partnered with Domino's in 2019 for a pizza delivery pilot in Houston, which is now live.
Domino's Pizza announced Monday that it will begin delivering pizzas via Nuro driverless cars in Houston this week as part of a pilot program. According to the company, “select customers” in Houston who place a prepaid delivery order from its store in the Woodland Heights neighborhood on specific dates and times will have their pizza delivered by a Nuro R2 robot.
The pizza deliveries will work as follows: a customer places and pays for order online from the Woodland Heights store and chooses to have the order delivered by the R2. The customer receives a one-of-a-kind PIN via text alert, as well as updates on the vehicle's location. When the R2 arrives, the customer enters the PIN on its touch screen, which unlocks the doors. Pizza is served as a result.
Nuro vehicles are already being used for grocery deliveries and CVS Pharmacy deliveries in Houston. Nuro announced in April that it would use its vehicles to transport medical supplies around two California stadiums that had been converted into treatment facilities for COVID-19 patients.