LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — If you find yourself driving through Birmingham, Michigan- you might spot a robot on the road.
That robot is on a mission, to deliver a pizza, all while driving no more than 20 miles per hour.
Canadian automotive company Magna started a partnership with Brooklyn Pizza, and around two years ago, a team got together to design the “last mile” delivery solution.
Since the pilot was launched in March, the robot has delivered hundreds of pizzas.
“So it’s been a very interesting and exciting journey for us because Magna traditionally has not been in the consumer-facing business,” said Muthu Subramanian, the senior director for Advanced Engineering at Magna. “We have certain families who had made this as a habit of ordering pizza during certain days on a weekly basis.”
There have been improvements made to the robot since it made its streetside debut, specifically in the areas of customer experience and making the robot safer.
“We have a spotter vehicle that follows the robot with a safety engineer every time the robot is delivering the food,” continued Subramanian.
Subramanian says the robot has received good feedback overall, and that the intention is not to take jobs away but to aid with the worker shortage and meet demand.
“The owner of Brooklyn Pizza, he was trying to address this to be able to reduce the delivery demand for their workers and have them focus on what they do best, which is making, you know, tasty pizza for their customers.”
The next phase in the pilot program? Operation refinery and expansion.
“For us going forward it’s going to be an interesting combination of what the business needs are and how open the owner of the businesses are at adopting new technologies,” said Subramanian.