Your food could be delivered by an underground robot: Wendy's tests new mobile order system

Robots could be coming to a Wendy's near you, delivering chili, 4 for 4s and Biggie Bags much quicker to your parking spot in seconds.

The company is working with an Austin, Texas hyperlogistics company called Pipedream to test an underground robot system that will deliver digital orders to designated parking spots in a matter of seconds, the restaurant said in a news release Wednesday.

Testing for the underground delivery system will begin at an existing restaurant later this year, the companies said.

A Wendy's spokesperson said the companies are still deciding where the first location will be, but noted the company is looking at restaurants along the East Coast with high amounts of digital orders. Once the location is chosen, installation will take no more than two weeks, the spokesperson said.

An illustration of the underground robot system that will deliver digital orders to designated parking spots in a matter of seconds at Wendy's. The restaurant is working with Austin, Texas hyperlogistics company Pipedream to test it and will begin testing later in 2023.

How does robot delivery work?

Pipedream, which was founded in 2021, uses a fully electric underground system that is supposed to help stores, warehouses, restaurants, developers, and individuals meet increasing delivery needs. The company also said its underground system serves customers in a way that eliminates congestion and improves safety, while also lessening the burden on employees.

To deliver the orders as quickly as possible, Pipedream will connect the Wendy's kitchen to an instant pickup portal outside of the restaurant. Autonomous robots will then carry the orders through an underground delivery system to car-side pickup portals.

Customers will be able to get their orders without leaving their vehicles because each designated spot will have a pickup portal, the companies said.

When customers and delivery drivers arrive, they can pull into designated parking spots next to instant pickup​​​​​​​​​​ portals and speak to restaurant crew members via speaker. Once they've verified their identity and order, the food will be delivered directly to the portal and they can grab it through the car window, the companies said.

The companies also said the automated, underground system will help employees by "streamlining digital order pick-up points."

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