Saturday, 19 November 2016 09:38

Drone delivery Pizza Wars: Dodo again dumps on Domino's ‘world-first’ claim

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Dodo Pizza has struck back again at Domino’s Pizza claiming a ‘world-first’ drone delivery, with the epic saga over who delivered what first continuing.

Dodo Pizza would say, first came Dodo Pizza’s drone delivery.

However, my first article on the topic came earlier this week, when Domino’s Pizza claimed a world-first, stating it had achieved "the first commercial delivery of food by drone to a customer, anywhere in the world", from one of its pizzerias in New Zealand.

Unsatisfied with this claim was Dodo Pizza, who had alerted iTWire to the fact that it had achieved the first pizza delivery by drone in 2014, with more deliveries since, backed up by a plethora of news articles from major global publications, including some videos, which you can read about and see here in full.

Quick to strike back, Domino’s Pizza explained that its achievement "differed" to Dodo’s in several ways, including "approved regulatory authority" and completely autonomous drone deliveries rather than piloted drones as was the case with Dodo, which you can read about here.

Naturally, we forwarded this article to Dodo Pizza to see what they had to say about Domino’s counterclaim.

It was no surprise to see Dodo Pizza once again to dump upon Domino’s claim of a world-first, despite Domino’s daring delivery declaration that you can read in the article linked two paragraphs above this one.

Anton Deryagin, Dodo Pizza’s vice-president of Global Communications, responded to my invitation for Dodo to reply to Domino’s, stating:

“Many thanks for your prompt response. Indeed, I would like to comment.

“The assertion that on 16 November 2016 Domino’s Pizza NZ performed the first ever commercial delivery of food by drone is false. Because 879 days prior, on 21 June 2014, Dodo Pizza had successfully completed 6 pizza deliveries by drone to real customers at a park in Syktyvkar.

“These were, in every relevant respect, genuine commercial deliveries. Drone deliveries were part of a business model we had developed for delivering to parks, beaches, public events and university campuses.

“And no aviation authority approvals or autopilots will rearrange the actual chronological sequence of events.

“Mr Gillespie states that their delivery on 16 November was unprecedented in that the flight was fully autonomous, meaning without a human pilot controlling the aircraft from the ground.

“Well, just this September we carried out 18 fully autonomous drone deliveries in Samara (video here) and a couple more in Kazan.

“The only truly novel feature of yesterday’s Domino’s delivery in New Zealand is that they managed to get the approval from authorities.”

So, wham bam Domino’s man, Dodo’s Pizza looks like they’re making your claim of a world-first delivery extinct.

Although the who-was-first saga will surely have to end soon, we’ll send this article over to Domino’s Pizza once again to see if they have any further comment, which will surely see me writing ‘Pizza Wars IV: A New Hope for Peace in the Delivery Drone Wars Galaxy…’.

Until then… enjoy your pizza, however it gets delivered! :-)

(Turn phone sideway horizontally to see the full image)

Pizza Wars Episode 3


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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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