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TECHNOLOGY | Staff Reporter, Australia
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Domino's shifts focus from mobile technology to artificial intelligence

The pizza chain is taking its first step into artificial intelligence with DRU Assist.

DRU Assist aims to help customers place their favourite order faster, find out what’s new and get good deals, while also adding personality to the online ordering process. Domino’s launched DRU Assist at the Company’s Abacus Tech event series, along with other innovations to make customers’ ordering experiences easier.

Domino’s Group CEO and Managing Director, Don Meij, said he was excited the Company was launching technology that would lead the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry.

“DRU Assist is the first ever virtual assistant available to help customers place their orders online in the Australian QSR industry,” Meij said.

Available on desktop and within the Domino’s app, DRU Assist is the latest addition to the DRU (Domino’s Robotic Unit) platform, and is launching as a public beta*.

“Domino’s customers will be able to ask DRU Assist either via text on the web or voice recognition in the app to order their favourite pizzas and make customizations,” Meij said.
“DRU Assist is on hand to help our customers streamline their ordering process with efficient and helpful service with a side of personality. DRU Assist will continue to learn and improve recognition skills from every customer experience.”

With a natural language voice engine powered by industry leader Nuance, DRU Assist can chat to Domino’s customers with his usual cheeky, fun personality and recognise customer’s orders verbally in the app. The launch of DRU Assist marks Domino’s transition to ‘AI-first’ technologies and one of the largest public betas in the country.

“As of this year Domino’s as a Company will move from a ‘Mobile-First’ mindset to AI-First technology,” said Meij.

“Allowing the beta to be open to the whole nation means that DRU Assist will learn faster, and provide a better service for our customers. We encourage all Domino’s customers across Australia to order via DRU in the app or on the web, and be a part of the beginning of AI in Australia."

"DRU Assist, and AI, will become the leading future platform for ordering, management, marketing and delivery as part of the DRU Platform, a machine learning and AI ecosystem. Domino’s plans to work with third party partners to integrate the DRU Assist platform into other devices and channels, including smart home devices – this is the way of the future.”

Meij said the Company’s new technologies were designed to make it even easier for customers, and announced plans to launch Domino’s Anywhere later this year.

Domino’s Anywhere will allow customers to drop a location pin using GPS locators, for stores to deliver to parks, beaches and other locations without specific street addresses.

“With Domino’s Anywhere, they will be able to order their piping hot pizza directly to their picnic blanket or beach towel. We know that pizza is a social sharing meal and many of our customers want to enjoy it on a day out with the family, and not be limited to a house or office," Meij said.

The company also launched Domino’s Offers Bot, integrated within the Facebook Messenger platform to offer customers on Facebook the best deals available, and builds on the Company’s Offers App. Domino’s also presented an update to autonomous delivery plans at the tech event, with further trials set for DRU Drone by Flirtey in New Zealand in the second half of this year.

Meij said that Domino’s plans to expand its Autonomous Delivery fleet with land-based robotic units and air based drones a key investment into the future of delivery not only in Australia, but also in other countries.

“The continued testing and expansion of our autonomous delivery systems demonstrates that Domino’s is committed to providing innovative, safer delivery systems across our network.” 

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