Just when we thought we had made peace with our mechanical counterparts, robots have stabbed humanity in our soft, fleshy, almost comically vulnerable backs once more. As if it wasn’t enough to have already eliminated millions of manufacturing jobs—contributing to the rise of Donald Trump among laid-off factory workers who mistakenly blame China and Mexico for their problems—now the robots are coming for our pizza delivery jobs, too.
Domino’s Pizza is already working on bringing the pizza robots to Germany, where it’s made a deal with Starship Technologies to test-drive a robot that resembles an automated cooler on wheels (now that, we can get behind), travels at a speed of approximately 4 miles per hour, and can deliver pizzas within a one-mile radius of Domino’s locations in Hamburg, Germany. The robots will launch this summer, and will expand to the Netherlands after that if the program is successful.
To be honest, we started this post with the intention of making some jokes about future pornos where a woman in a negligee opens her front door, only to be disappointed when it’s a robot and not a mustachioed stud delivering her pizza. But low-wage service jobs like delivering pizzas, while often pretty shitty, are the sole means of income for millions of Americans now that our manufacturing base has fallen apart. Currently, only Virginia and Idaho allow delivery by robot, but if their haste to sell Americans out to ISPs is any indication, Republican lawmakers are highly suggestible to changing that. Basically, between this and self-driving cars, robots could be putting even more millions of people out of work before we know it.