First came the TacoCopter, then the LobsterCopter, and now, Domino’s Pizza wants to deliver pizzas straight to your door using those increasingly popular unmanned aerial vehicles known commonly as drones. The company’s UK branch just uploaded the first video of the Domino’s DomiCopter to YouTube, where it’s already garnered about 253,000 views. Check out the full video below.
“The DomiCopter is a project we worked on with Domino’s Pizza, AeroSight, a UK-based drone specialist and [marketing agency] Big Communications,” creative firm T + Biscuits said in a blog post revealing the DomiCopter. “We were looking at innovative ways to deliver pizza and thought, ‘what is cooler than a flying pizza?’”
The DomiCopter is certainly a PR stunt, since the Michigan-based pizza company said the Domino’s drone concept “has nothing to do with us in the U.S. and we have no plans to pursue the idea,” and was purely “the brainchild of our independent master franchise company in the U.K.” But even if Domino’s was serious about using drones to deliver its pizza to customers, the FAA would have something to say about that.
The Federal Aviation Administration currently bans any UAVs for commercial purposes, and has done so since 2007 – after all, it’s not unreasonable to want to prevent flying robots from whizzing by people’s heads just to deliver tacos and pizza and lobster rolls. The FAA currently issues permits to any universities, government agencies or groups looking to test drones, but regulators still don’t know how to accommodate drone flight so it doesn’t disrupt other current means of air transportation.
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While the FAA is experimenting with a number of drone “test sites” around the U.S., legislators and state officials believe that drones need a long-term solution, rather than a quick fix. While U.S. lawmakers look to carefully regulate drones, the U.K. wouldn’t ban a DomiCopter necessarily, though it would be highly unlikely to fly -- literally and figuratively.
Domino’s press release said the DomiCopter drone “could fit the bill” an innovative new way to deliver pizza to customers, and mentioned that a “Domino’s Flight Academy is also rumored to be in the pipeline should the DomiCopter delivery service take off.” But while the video and press release was likely made in good fun, it does raise a number of questions that certainly need to be addressed. Drones are becoming cheaper and more commonplace around the world, given their unique abilities and diverse applications; it is predicted that 30,000 drones will be patrolling the skies in the U.S. alone by 2020.