7-Eleven Tests Drone Delivery to Customers
Convenience store chain 7-Eleven and Flirtey, a drone delivery service, have completed a fully autonomous drone delivery to a customer's home. The delivery was conducted in celebration of 7-Eleven's 89th birthday.
Flirtey teamed with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems for the 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 at NIAS, in a statement.
At a Reno, Nev., 7-Eleven store, two deliveries were successfully completed. 7-Eleven merchandise, 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. 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 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 in a statement. "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's executive vice president 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," Delgado-Jenkins said in a statement. "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."
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