The latest Wendy’s partnership is with Pipedream, an underground transportation logistics company, to make robots that will deliver your order to you through a tunnel. It says the machines will start to appear in restaurants later this year.
The vision is this: you drive up to a Wendy’s and park somewhere with an “Instant Pickup portal” (pictured above). You can place your order there and it will be prepared inside. Once finished, it will be given to a robot with “temperature-controlled delivery technology” to keep it warm or cool, as Pipedream’s CEO told The Takeout. The robot will deliver the order to the correct parking space and you’ll be ready to drive away.
This comes not long after Wendy’s revealed it is preparing to use AI chatbots to take orders in drive-thrus. Todd Penegor, Wendy’s CEO, noted that the AI was so good that some people might not realize they aren’t speaking with a human. However, it isn’t clear whether these two technologies (AI and delivery robots) could be or will be combined yet.
Wendy’s Senior Vice President and Global Chief Technology Officer, Matt Spessard, told The Takeout that stores on the United States’ east coast are currently being evaluated to see if they would benefit from Pipedream’s upgrade.
Image credit: The Wendy’s Company/Pipedream