In 2016, the age-old trade of pizza delivery is going to be very different: At least for some Domino’s drivers. Enter the Domino’s DXP, a brand new vehicle designed and built specifically to deliver your tasty treats. A recent press release indicates that Domino’s is working with its partners to convert and deliver 100 DXPs to 25 markets across the U.S. By the start of next year, we’ll begin to see these next-gen delivery cars in cities like Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, New Orleans, San Diego, and Seattle.
The DXP is built on the design of the 2015 Chevrolet Spark, a hatchback powered by an ECOTEC 1.2 liter dual overhead-cam four-cylinder engine. But its unique design also includes a number of key innovations that pizza delivery professionals and their customers will love.
First, there’s a warming oven right behind the driver’s seat. That means no more pizzas sadly losing heat in the backseat of the car as the driver navigates to the customer’s house. The DXPs get custom decals for both company and driver branding.
There’s also something called “Delivery Path Illumination” that’s a win-win: Drivers exiting the vehicle can see better, so they’re less likely to trip, step in puddles, or generally blunder on the street, and that keeps the customer’s food and drink in better condition. And, the DXP has the company’s OnStar navigation system with turn by turn directions and emergency notification features. There’s also a “puddle light” that’s going to project the company’s brand as a shadow, kind of like a real-life bat signal.
So how was the DXP born? Company reps say the vehicle took three years to make. Ideas were crowdsourced by a company called Local Motors, and then Domino’s worked with Roush Enterprises to convert and deliver the vehicles. Domino’s attributes the idea for the DXP to Kenneth Baker, a former General Motors Research and Development executive.
The DXP will also make a difference in America’s carbon footprint, to some extent: Domino’s delivers about 400 million pizzas a year with drivers traveling 10,000,000 miles a week, so with an estimated 39 miles per gallon, the DXP will be a lot more efficient than many of the jalopies that currently schlep your pizza across town.
Company executives point out that most Domino’s pizza will still be delivered by drivers in their own personal cars, but they are also excited about the potential for change.
“This innovation allows drivers to do their jobs with greater ease and efficiency, and demonstrates that Domino’s is absolutely fanatical about making perfect deliveries,” said Russell Weiner, president of Domino’s USA, in the press release.
Weiner also wants people to know that the company isn’t just creating a media buzz — the DXP is going to be a real thing.
“With all the changes that have occurred with this brand, one of the things that hasn’t kept pace is our innovation within delivery vehicles,” Russell Weiner, president of Domino’s USA, told Forbes. “(It’s)…more than a branding exercise. We wanted to make sure that no one thought this was just a gimmick; this isn’t us producing an Oscar Mayer Weinermobile or just a fleet of branded cars. ”
So while we might have to wait a while to get a pizza delivered in one of these futuristic rides, you might just spot one trundling down your street in 2016.