You know how Domino’s Australia and New Zealand are making strides in autonomous delivery? And you would think Domino’s in Japan, a country known for technology and robots, would do better? Well, not quite. Ok, to be fair, tech wasn’t quite involved here; instead a reindeer was used. Wait, what? Yes, a reindeer. You know the hoofed animal with antlers which legend has it that Santa uses to pull his sled? Yea, that reindeer. Then again, reindeer shouldn’t come as a surprise since Hokkaido is b*tch ass cold this time of year and with it, comes tons of snow covering the roads which makes reindeer the logical fit for the job.
The whole exercise here is not to do what DRU is doing. Instead, it is a contingency delivery measure in case the winter gets a little too severe using conventional vehicle. The idea seems pretty sound theoretically but unfortunately, being a sentience being of sort means Rudolf here goes where it fancies and where it likes may not exactly the same as where the delivery address is. Unless, the customers happens to be living in the middle of a field with no roads because that was exactly where this reindeer was headed. To be clear, the reindeer is not expect to ‘autonomously’ deliver the orders; humans will be with the animal, but as the team soon realized, taming a mild beast like a reindeer and making it go where humans want it to go wasn’t a walk in the park.
The folks over at Domino’s Japan even go to length to equip the animal with GPS so customers can track it, well, not as if the reindeer knows where he (or she) was supposed to go. Obviously, it is a fail, because, animals. Also, they didn’t seem to think through the delivery saddle throughly as the delivery bag slipped off on more than one occasion. The team even attempt to get the reindeer to pull a sled, unmanned which, naturally, didn’t went well either. Those are good attempts anyways and I would say, a good marketing stun that’s fun to watch. You can find the entire proceeding, in Japanese, in the embedded video below.
Images: screenshot from YouTube video.