Chick-fil-A Is Testing This Revolutionary New Delivery Method
Chick-fil-A is bringing new meaning to the common knock-knock joke, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" Soon enough, the answer could be, "Because you ordered it."
America's largest fried chicken empire will be testing new autonomous technology that utilizes robot delivery at two locations in Austin, Texas this summer. This means the chicken will now be crossing intersections without even the assistance of a delivery driver.
The robots will be able to work in different weather conditions and drive on the margin of the road or bike lane in order to avoid traffic and pedestrians, the company said of this innovation. The technology would also allow your order to travel faster.
The robots will be engineered through a partnership with Refraction AI, a company that specializes in creating lightweight, autonomous robots for "last-mile goods delivery in urban areas." The short-distance robots are intended to save the company money on delivery costs, as they use 80% less energy than conventional delivery. The service is for customers who live close to a Chick-fil-A location, according to a release from the company.
"Autonomous delivery using Refraction's robots creates an exciting new opportunity to extend the Chick-fil-A experience to a growing number of delivery guests," said Luke Steigmeyer, an operator of Chick-fil-A in Austin. "The platform will allow us to provide fast, high quality, and cost-effective meal delivery within a mile radius of our restaurant all while helping to keep the community we serve environmentally clean and safe."
The first location to debut the service will be on 6th & Congress Ave in Downtown Austin, while the restaurant on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard will begin testing the delivery method in late June.
Other fast-food chains have been making moves in autonomous delivery. Dominos started testing delivery robots in Houston in April, using the technology company Nuro. The four-wheeled driving robots can track the robots via GPS and are provided with a unique PIN to retrieve their order once it arrives.
Additionally, Starship Technologies' robots have been working with participating colleges around the country. The campus robots take orders from Starbucks, Subway, Panera Bread, Panda Express, Qdoba, and more to hungry students.