7‑Eleven, the world’s largest convenience retailer, and Flirtey, a leading independent drone delivery service, said last week that they have completed the first fully autonomous drone delivery to a customer’s residence to advance research toward integrating drones into the National Airspace System. They partnered with tea the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) for the delivery.
This delivery, which was made to a Reno, Nevada 7-Eleven store, is the first time a U.S. customer has received a package to their home via drone, said 7-Eleven.
According to 7-Eleven, 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. In the future, both companies expect drone packages to include “everyday essentials” such as batteries and sunscreen.
“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.
“This delivery marks the first time a retailer has worked with a drone delivery company to transport immediate consumables from store to home,” said Delgado-Jenkins 7‑Eleven EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer.
“In the future, we plan to make the entire assortment in our stores available for delivery to customers in minutes,” he added.