Last updated on October 31st, 2015 at 11:21 pm
Using crowd-sourcing, one pizza company solved the problem of designing the perfect delivery vehicle, one with a warming oven built-in that brings the pizza fresh to a customer’s door at just the perfect temperature.
Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Domino’s Pizza, with help from Local Motors, a Phoenix, Arizona-based automotive firm that uses crowd-sourcing for brainstorming new ideas in design, innovation and development of new vehicles, initiated a world-wide contest to find a design for the “ultimate pizza delivery vehicle” in 2012.
A total of 385 entries were submitted, and after a six-week competition, in October 2012, the winner was announced. Anej Kostrevic of Slovenia was awarded the US$10,000 first prize for his creation and design of the pizza delivery vehicle.
Gizmag.com announced last week that Domino’s has now unveiled its “first-of-its-kind, purpose-built pizza-delivery vehicle” called the Domino’s Delivery Expert (DXP).
Roush Enterprises is building the vehicles. Roush provides a wide range of resources, from the development of a product to design, engineering, testing and the manufacture of the finished product. They are well known for their performance-driven technology through Fenway Racing and “clean tech” solutions to alternative fuels.
The rolling pizza vehicle sits on the chassis is a 2015 Chevrolet Spark, with a warming-oven behind the driver’s seat which can hold about eight pizzas. The vehicle was reconfigured so that there is only a driver’s seat, with the passenger-side converted to be an additional supply area. Additional Space in the DXP allows for storing up to 80 pizzas, as well as drinks and sauces.
The LA Times quoted Russell Weiner, the president of Domino’s USA: “The Domino’s DXP is the first purpose-built vehicle aimed at revolutionizing pizza delivery. This innovation allows drivers to do their jobs with greater ease and efficiency.”
Pizza delivery innovations since the 1940s
Before the 1940s in America, pizza was limited to Italian immigrants and their descendants, however, after WWII, the pizza was to become an integral part of our cuisine. And as pizza grew in popularity, chain stores became the new business model. With them came pizza delivery.
There have only been three noteworthy innovations in pizza delivery in the past 50 years. The first one was the corrugated cardboard box developed by Domino’s in the 1960s. The box kept its shape, keeping the pizza from being smashed, but didn’t do much to keep the pizza warm.
Next came the little plastic tripod platform that sits in the middle of the pie when it is delivered, another innovation to keep the pizza looking like it has just come out of the oven. The last innovation was the familiar insulated sleeve used to deliver your pizza, keeping it warm and fresh, from oven to your door.
With the advent of pizza delivery in the 1960s, the primary objective became getting the pie to a customer’s door quickly, making sure it was still warm. Technology has played an important role in delivery, dating back to the 1980s and the rise of personal computers. Specialized computer apps make it possible to map out the most efficient route for delivery, as well as tracking orders, and delivery times.
The need to get pizzas delivered quickly has led to some interesting innovations. In Hong Kong, crowded streets and highways resulted in deliveries being made more efficiently using scooters or even bicycles. But the buzzing two-stroke engines are an annoyance most people hate to hear coming, even though they are easily-maneuverable in crowded city streets.
Canadian-based Pizza Pizza gives its customers a guarantee they will receive their order within the time limit given when the order is placed or it’s free. Other pizza chains have tried getting customers to pay a delivery fee, something that isn’t very popular.
One of the most innovative ideas comes to us from a Brooklyn, New York pizza chain called Williamsburg Pizza. In 2014, Owner Nino Coniglio attempted using drones to delivery pizza in Prospect Heights. After one near miss and one successful delivery attempt, Coniglio said, “It’s going to revolutionize the delivery business, make everything a lot faster for customers.”
A call to the pizza business resulted in finding out the plan to use drones for delivery has never gotten off the ground.
This brings us up to the Domino’s Pizza delivery vehicle. It is sure to end up being a prototype for other pizza delivery vehicle in the future. The new delivery vehicle takes into account design, as well as Interior and surfacing innovations focused on how best to get the most out of the space available inside the vehicle. The Chevrolet Spark, with its 1.2-liter engine and automatic transmission, will not only be economical, but an easy car to drive.
— techfacts (@facts_tech) October 25, 2015
Domino’s is in the process of rolling out 100 DXPs across the US, including markets in Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, New Orleans, San Diego and Seattle. Domino’s says two-thirds of its business is delivery, and they deliver, on average, 400 million pizzas a year in the U.S.
Published with permission via Digital Journal, by Karen Graham. Copyright 2015.
Photo via Domino’s