Self-driving pizza delivery vehicles will hit Houston's roads

Self-driving pizza delivery vehicles will hit Houston's roads
Photo courtesy of Nuro and Domino's

Domino's and Nuro have picked Houston to launch a self-driving pizza delivery vehicle pilot program.

This article originally appeared on InnovationMap and was written by Natalie Harms.

Unmanned vehicles are taking over Houston, any way you slice it. Nuro, the robotics company specializing in commercialized self-driving cars, first entered the Houston market earlier this year with its grocery delivery partnership with Kroger. Now, the company has teamed up with Domino's Pizza to deliver an autonomous pizza delivery pilot program in Houston.

Only a select group of Houston Domino's customers will be able to have the option to choose an unmanned delivery process from the R2 vehicles. Currently, Nuro and Domino's have not revealed who will be able to use the service or when. In a news release from Domino's, the company notes that the technology will be available later this year.

"We are always looking for new ways to innovate and evolve the delivery experience for our customers," says Kevin Vasconi, Domino's executive vice president and chief information officer, in the release. "Nuro's vehicles are specially designed to optimize the food delivery experience, which makes them a valuable partner in our autonomous vehicle journey. The opportunity to bring our customers the choice of an unmanned delivery experience, and our operators an additional delivery solution during a busy store rush, is an important part of our autonomous vehicle testing."

On online orders, select customers will have the option to choose to receive delivery from one of the R2 vehicles. Once the order is in, the customers would receive a PIN code to unlock the compartment to access the pizza upon its arrival.

"We are excited to expand our autonomous delivery service in Houston with Domino's delivery," says Cosimo Leipold, Nuro's head of partner relations, in the release. "Domino's delivers millions of pizzas around the world every day, and the company shares our passion for focusing on the customer experience. We see incredible opportunity in offering Nuro's world-class autonomous technology to Domino's customers, accelerating our shared mission to transform local commerce."

Continue reading on InnovationMap to learn how self-driving cars will change Houston's landscape.

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Astros defeat the Twins, 5-2. Composite Getty Image.

Framber Valdez pitched no-hit ball into the seventh inning and Yordan Alvarez hit two of Houston’s four homersin the Astros' 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday.

Valdez (4-3) didn’t allow a hit until a single to start the seventh. He yielded the two hits and a run with four strikeouts in seven innings.

Alvarez hit a two-run home run off Joe Ryan (4-4) in the first and his solo shot off the starter in the fifth inning made it 5-0. It’s the third multi-homer game of the season for Alvarez and 18th of his career.

Struggling first baseman José Abreu hit his first home run and second extra-base hit of the season in the second inning. Kyle Tucker added a homer in the third to give him 19 this season, which ranks second in the majors behind Aaron Judge’s 20.

Houston led 5-2 with one out in the ninth when Jake Meyers made a leaping catch at wall in center field to rob Byron Buxton of a homer. Closer Josh Hader raised both arms high in the air after the catch and Buxton, a fellow center fielder, tipped his helmet to Meyers.

Hader then struck out Willi Castro to get his eighth save.

Valdez sailed through the first six innings. He walked Manuel Margot to start the fourth and plunked Kyle Farmer to open the sixth but has faced the minimum thanks to double plays in both innings.

Valdez got some help from his defense for the first out of the third. Tucker made a leaping catch just before crashing into the right field wall on a fly ball hit by Farmer.

The Twins got their first hit when Margot singled on a grounder to center field to start the seventh. Margot moved to second on a wild pitch with one out before scoring on a two-out single by Jose Miranda that cut the lead to 5-1.

An RBI single by Carlos Correa got the Twins within 5-2 with two outs in the eighth.

Tucker walked in the first before the first homer by Alvarez made it 2-0.

There were two outs in the second when Abreu’s shot pushed the lead to 3-0. Abreu was playing his fourth game in the majors after spending almost a month in the minors to work on his swing after a terrible start to the season.

Tucker’s home run to right center came with one out in the third to make it 4-0. There were two outs in the fifth when Alvarez connected again.

Ryan yielded eight hits, including four homers and five runs — all season highs — in five innings.


Minnesota RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (2-0, 2.70 ERA), who is from suburban Houston, was set to face RHP Hunter Brown (1-5, 6.39) when the series concludes Sunday.

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