Convenience retailer 7‑Eleven and Flirtey, an independent drone delivery service, have completed the first fully autonomous drone delivery to a customer’s residence.
This delivery marks the first time a US customer has received a package to their home via drone, representing a milestone in both US and global commerce. The delivery was conducted in celebration of the 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 this delivery.
“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.
At a 7‑Eleven store in Reno NV, two deliveries were successfully completed. 7‑Eleven merchandise—including hot and cold food items—were loaded into a 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. The purchases were delivered to the family in the span of a few minutes. Products included Slurpee drinks, a chicken sandwich, donuts, hot coffee, and 7-Select candy.
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 food delivery, online retail, and humanitarian industries.
Building on this initial collaboration, the two companies plan to expand drone delivery tests and work closely together, according to Jesus H Delgado-Jenkins, 7‑Eleven executive vice-president and chief merchandising officer.
“Drone delivery is the ultimate convenience for our customers, and these efforts create enormous opportunities to redefine convenience,” said Delgado-Jenkins.
“I congratulate Nevada-based company Flirtey on making history yet again, this time by collaborating with the world’s largest convenience retailer to complete the first store-to-home drone delivery in Reno,” said Nevada Gov Brian Sandoval.