Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are really starting to take over. From photography to deliveries and everything in between, drones are making its way from the things-I-want-for-Christmas list, to the things-I-need-to-survive list. A couple of days ago, Flirtey in Nevada were closer to the commercial operation of UAVs delivery test. Their partner turned out to be the internationally famous convenience store – 7-Eleven! This made 7-Eleven drone delivery something new to everyone. Followed by the unexpected large retail chain, Walmart, who intends to join the UAV delivery partnership.
Drones to transport hot and cold drinks
Michael, a young man living in Redo, Nevada, who ordered chicken sandwiches, donuts, a cup of coffee, 7-Eleven candies and some of the company’s trademark Slurpee for a nearby 7-Eleven convenience store, waited for a few minutes in the comforts of his home, received all five items right on his doorstep the way he wanted – hot for the hots, and cold for his Slurpee. Now that’s what we call a ‘convenience’ store.
7-Eleven sent out one of the many delivery drones from Flirtey, delivering goods packed into purpose-built containers right to your doorstep in a matter of minutes. With the guide of GPS, the drone can coordinate and locate your locations and hover over your house, lowering the package on your backyard for retrieval.
Drone delivery for commercial applications
Food and beverage delivery sounds interesting. Will the hot and cold drinks achieve thermal equilibrium? Will the chicken sandwich end up being only chicken and bread? Regardless what it turns up to be, there were no comments nor complaints received by 7-Eleven and Flirtey after any deliveries.
“This delivery marks the first time a retailer has worked with a drone delivery company to transport immediate consumables from store to home,” Jesus Delgado-Jenkins, the vice president at 7-Eleven said in the release. “In the future, we plan to make the entire assortment in our stores available for delivery to customers in minutes.”
The greatest significance for drone deliveries done by Flirtey is to reach the United States for the first time. This is also Flirtey’s biggest achievement in business cooperation agreement. Flirtey has done many repeated drone delivery, which did not involve any partnership with retailers nor did they ship goods to customers’ doorstep. Their main shipping were medical supplies to unreachable places, and is afraid to fail in commercial applications.
Flirtey said that in addition to humanitarian aids, delivering food and beverages when partnered with the world largest convenience store is a new step to their main intention – to prove their feasibility in commercialization of UAV delivery.
Director of Operations of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS), Chris Walach told the magazine “Fortune”, that drone delivery testing requires detailed and advanced planning for flight routes, flight procedures and the development of risk analysis, to ensure “safety and privacy were equally integrated”. This again reflects the UAV delivery is not the only problems to overcome, but also the residents within all range of concerns.
You can watch the video of the delivery below.