In celebration of 7-Eleven’s 89th birthday, drone delivery company Flirtey has completed what it says was the U.S.’ first fully autonomous, federally approved drone delivery to a customer’s residence.
At a 7-Eleven store in Reno, Nev., two deliveries were completed: Slurpee drinks, a chicken sandwich, donuts, hot coffee and 7-Select candy were loaded into a Flirtey drone delivery container and flown autonomously using precision GPS to a local family’s backyard, where the drone hovered in place and gently lowered each package. The purchases were delivered to the family in the span of a few minutes, says Flirtey.
The company teamed with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) – part of the Federal Aviation Administration drone test sites – for the delivery.
“This delivery required special flight planning, risk analysis and detailed flight procedures ensuring residential safety and privacy were equally integrated,” says Chris Walach, director of operations for NIAS.
Reno resident Michael, who received the Flirtey delivery, says, “My wife and I both work and have three small children – ages seven, six and one. The convenience of having access to instant, 24/7 drone delivery is priceless. It’s amazing that a flying robot just delivered us food and drinks in a matter of minutes.”
Building on this initial collaboration, the two companies have plans to expand drone delivery tests and work closely together in the future, according to Jesus H. Delgado-Jenkins, 7-Eleven’s executive vice president and chief merchandising officer.
“This delivery marks the first time a retailer has worked with a drone delivery company to transport immediate consumables from store to home,” says Delgado-Jenkins. “In the future, we plan to make the entire assortment in our stores available for delivery to customers in minutes.”
Matt Sweeny, CEO of Flirtey, says, “We’re absolutely thrilled to have 7-Eleven, the largest convenience chain in the world, embracing new technologies and working with us at Flirtey to make drone delivery a reality for customers all over the world.
“This is just the first step in our collaboration with 7-Eleven. Flirtey’s historic drone deliveries to date have been stepping stones to store-to-home drone delivery, and today is a giant leap toward a not-too-distant future where we are delivering you convenience on demand.”