First FAA approved drone flight drops donuts from heaven

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

Not only will drone deliveries cut down the length of time that consumers have to wait for their goods to be delivered, further denting the value of brick and mortar retailers, but it will usher in a new era of Donuts-on-demand.

 

7-Eleven, the world’s largest convenience retailer, and Flirtey, a leading independent drone delivery service, announced they have completed the first fully autonomous FAA approved drone delivery to a customer’s house in an effort that is designed to advance research that will finally help the US FAA fully integrate drones into the National Airspace System.

The delivery, albeit low key was the first time that a US customer has received a package to their home via drone – representing a historic milestone in both the US and, if we believe it, global commerce and the delivery coincided with 7-Eleven’s 89th birthday.

The goal of advancing drone deliveries as well as further refining Flirtey’s delivery technology and packaging were highlighted when Flirtey teamed with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) for the delivery.

 

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“This delivery required special flight planning, risk analysis, and detailed flight procedures ensuring residential safety and privacy were equally integrated,” said Chris Walach, Director of Operations for NIAS.

The 7-Eleven store chosen for the historic flight – does that sound strange, was in Reno, Nevada and they managed to complete not one but two deliveries. The drone’s delivery including hot and cold food items – were loaded into a unique Flirtey drone delivery container and flown autonomously using precision GPS to a local customer’s house.

Once at the family’s backyard, the Flirtey drone hovered in place and gently lowered each package and the whole delivery took just a few minutes. Products included Slurpee drinks, a chicken sandwich, donuts, hot coffee and a 7-Select candy – all in all rather inauspicious items for such an auspicious flight and in the near future, both companies expect drone packages to include “everyday essentials” such as batteries and sunscreen.

“My wife and I both work and have three small children ages 7, 6 and 1. The convenience of having access to instant, 24/7 drone delivery is priceless,” said Reno resident Michael, who received the Flirtey delivery.

“It’s amazing that a flying robot just delivered us food and drinks in a matter of minutes.”

The deliveries also mark Flirtey’s largest commercial relationship to date and bring the drone delivery startup even closer to its vision of reinventing the delivery process for humanitarian, online retail and food delivery industries.

“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,” said Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeny.

 

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“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.”

Building on this initial collaboration, the two companies have plans to expand drone delivery tests and work closely together, according to 7-Eleven EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer Jesus Delgado-Jenkins.

“Drone delivery is the ultimate convenience for our customers and these efforts create enormous opportunities to redefine convenience,” said Mr. Delgado-Jenkins.

“This delivery marks the first time a retailer has worked with a drone delivery company to transport immediate consumables from store to home. In the future, we plan to make the entire assortment in our stores available for delivery to customers in minutes. Our customers have demanding schedules, are on-the-go 24/7 and turn to us to help navigate the challenges of their daily lives. We look forward to working with Flirtey to deliver to our customers exactly what they need, whenever and wherever they need it.”

All of this news should make people who found the on demand era too slow jump for joy. Homer Simpson – on behalf of Flirtey and 7-Eleven, you’re welcome.

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