RENO, NV: July 25, 2016. Convenience store 7-Eleven and Reno-based drone start-up Flirtey have enabled the first delivery to a customer's residence as a step to integrating drones into the U.S. National Airspace System.
"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," commented 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."
According to 7-Eleven EVP and chief merchandising officer Jesus Delgado-Jenkins, drone delivery is the ultimate convenience for customers: "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."
Flirty CEO Matt Sweeny said the successful 7-Eleven delivery brings the startup closer to its vision of reinventing the delivery process for humanitarian, online retail and food delivery industries.
The company claims it is the first to conduct an FAA-approved delivery in the U.S., the first to perform a fully autonomous drone delivery to a home in the U.S. and the first to conduct ship-to-shore drone delivery in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
In a related move, Amazon has partnered with the UK government to determine the feasibility of delivering parcels by drone.
Supported by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Amazon will explore beyond line of sight operations in rural and suburban areas; testing sensor performance to make sure the drones can identify and avoid obstacles; and flights where one person operates multiple highly-automated drones.
"We want to enable the innovation that arises from the development of drone technology by safely integrating drones into the overall aviation system," said Tim Johnson, the CAA policy director. "These tests by Amazon will help inform our policy and future approach."