Thursday, 17 November 2016 12:43

Domino’s Pizza empire strikes back in world-first pizza drone delivery counterclaim


A fight between pizza titans Domino’s Pizza and Russia’s Dodo Pizza has erupted over who was first to truly commercially deliver pizzas to customers by drone.

UPDATE: Dodo's Pizza has responded, blasting Domino Pizza's claim listed below. You can read Dodo Pizza's response here.

Original story continues below: 

Yesterday, we wrote about how Domino’s Pizza had claimed a "world-first" with the claim of "the first commercial delivery of food by drone to a customer, anywhere in the world" successfully in New Zealand.

Then iTWire’s editor received an email from Russian pizza empire, Dodo Pizza, noting that it has delivered pizzas by drone from way back in June 2014, with plenty of international news coverage including news articles and videos to back up its claim in the linked article.

In the Dodo Pizza article, we promised to get in touch with Domino’s Pizza, and to their credit, they have very quickly responded with a reply of their own on the "who is first" to have delivered a pizza by drone claim.

A spokesperson wrote back with comments from Domino Pizza’s chief digital officer, Michael Gillespie.

Gillespie stated: “Thanks for getting in touch. This is the first time a commercial delivery of food by a drone has taken place. We are aware of other companies testing other forms of drone technology on a trial basis, including our colleagues in the UK. These companies have previously delivered food in a limited trial format, to a field or non-commercial settings.

“Yesterday’s delivery flight differs in several ways. This is the first commercial delivery with CAA approval – we are currently the only commercial company with approved regulatory authority for a delivery of this type.

“The previous deliveries were also piloted by hand, the DRU Drone by Flirtey deliveries are done autonomously. They are GPS navigated, which means they find the target and lower themselves, we have pilots overseeing the deliveries but not controlling.

“This delivery also took only three minutes from the store to our door, other deliveries tested were up to 30 minutes in length. This is also a continuing delivery with many other scheduled this week, not a one-off delivery or test.”

So, the pizza delivery drone wars continue droning on, which, it has to be said, is making me hungry.

It also makes me think of Star Wars Episode 2, which makes me modify Yoda’s statement thusly: “Begun the pizza drone wars have.”

We’ll forward this article to Dodo Pizza to see if they want to respond!

Pizza Wars

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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