RENO, Nev. – 7-Eleven and Flirtey, a drone delivery service, have completed 77 autonomous drone deliveries to customer homes in the United States.
The deliveries are the result of Flirtey and 7-Eleven's commercial collaboration, which kicked off in July with the world's first autonomous drone delivery to a customer’s residence.
Flirtey conducted regular weekend deliveries during November from a 7-Eleven store to a dozen select customers who were able to use a custom app to place their unique order. Along with listing all items available for delivery, the interactive app also notified customers when their drone was loaded, when it departed from the store and when it was arriving at their doorstep.
Once an order was placed, 7-Eleven merchandise, including items such a hot and cold food and over-the-counter medicines, were loaded into a custom Flirtey drone delivery container and flown autonomously using GPS to a local customer’s house. Once at the customer’s home, the drone hovered in place and lowered the package. On average, customers receive their packages in less than 10 minutes from the point of order.
One customer was so excited by the experience that she called her family to tell them they had just become "the real-life Jetsons." One-hundred percent of customers who participated stated they will continue to use the drone delivery service as operations expand.
“While other companies in this space are shipping jobs overseas, Flirtey's goal is to make delivery instant, and in the process create jobs at home for hardworking Americans and veterans. This is a giant leap toward a future where everyone can experience the convenience of Flirtey's instant store-to-door drone delivery,” said Flirtey CEO Matthew Sweeny in a press release.
Customers who participated in the deliveries included elderly couples, working parents and busy college students. They cited the speed and convenience as the most appealing aspects of drone deliveries.
Popular items included hot food, cold beverages and over-the-counter medicines such as 7-Select Night Time Cold & Flu Relief, 7-Select Headache Relief and aspirin. Over-the-counter medicine delivery has been a focus for Flirtey because of the convenience it offers, whether it is a parent trying to avoid having to load sick kids into the car to buy flu medication in the evening or someone battling a fever.
In addition to these commercial deliveries, Flirtey and 7-Eleven are planning to expand their drone delivery operations in 2017.