Pizza by drone? Domino's tests new delivery

A franchise in the UK uses an unmanned aircraft to transport its pies, but that likely won't fly in the US.

By Jason Notte Jun 5, 2013 4:30PM
Video still of Domino's pizza drone (© Dominos Pizza via a drone shows up at your house and claims it's delivering a pizza, what would be your first reaction?

If your answer is anything other than "duck and cover" or "launch a pre-emptive strike," congratulations: You're Domino's (DPZ) kind of customer. The pizza chain's United Kingdom branch recently made its way onto Mashable by posting a YouTube video showing a drone delivering pizza.

The DomiCopter -- created and operated by a drone company called AeroSight -- is shown flying a direct route over a long stretch of the UK and successfully delivering a pizza. It's apparently not a joke, either, as a company press release given the once-over by CNNMoney talks about launching a Domino's Flight Academy "should the DomiCopter delivery service take off."

That's great for the folks across the pond, but drones are a far touchier subject here in the States. Mounting criticism of drone strikes abroad, especially strikes targeting Americans, forced President Barack Obama to discuss the drone program at length and vow to reduce it. Understandably, critics aren't ready to take him or the military at their word, with Pakistan's new prime minister calling for an end to drone strikes altogether.

Even in the U.K.'s pizza drone territory, the BBC recently took American media to task for not applying more pressure to the U.S. government or digging for details about the drone program. In a country where fears about the abuse of drones and the drone program are so pervasive that entrepreneurs are selling drone blocking devices for the price of Audis, interest in pizza-delivering drones may be somewhat stifled.

The Federal Aviation Administration is already against it, with its rules on unmanned aircraft (UAS) stating that "currently, there are no means to obtain an authorization for commercial UAS operations in [North America]." But manufacturers may apply for an experimental certificate, the agency said, for research and training.

A Domino's spokesman in the U.S., meanwhile, says there's no chance of drone delivery service making its way across the pond. "This has nothing to do with us in the U.S. and we have no plans to pursue this idea," he said.

More on moneyNOW

Jun 5, 2013 7:11PM
This could be a interesting way to deliver pizza and hot meals to troops in remote areas, deliver goods in Alaska, Ammunition drops?, who knows, my only concern is what if or when one of these suffers a inflight failure over populated areas?, not to mention you do see drunk gun players who might want to take a shot at free pizza-literally!!!.
Jun 6, 2013 11:42AM
If we armed our drones with pizzas instead of bombs, they would still hate us, but they would be slower and bigger targets.
Jun 5, 2013 6:05PM
ok, did I miss something? Americans (?) killed abroad support AND working WITH the Taliban are killed in a drone strike. I say YES go for it ! Killing American soldiers does NOT make them "patriots". Traitors is the word here!
Jun 6, 2013 10:03AM
Gonna be a lot of jobs lost with this.  Very good for Domino's corporate, though.

Ahhh Technology................Now we really have a "Pie In The Sky" :)


Jun 6, 2013 3:13PM
Since Monahan founded Domino's decades ago it seems to me that he stressed short delivery times more than the quality of the product.  This latest UK scheme is even dumber than featuring bags of dog food delivered by truck to Fido's home. 
Jun 6, 2013 12:54PM
Brits, always thinking ahead lol. Well, thats one good way to dispose of a customer you don't like, DEATH BY PIZZA, drone a boss!
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