7-Eleven makes 77 drone deliveries to customers

(Flirtey, YouTube)

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RENO, Nev. — Food falling from the sky sounds like the stuff of legends and children’s book stories, but 7-Eleven is making it a reality.

It was in July 2016 that 7-Eleven, the world’s largest convenience store chain, partnered with the drone maker Flirtey to complete the first drone delivery of a package to a U.S. resident in their home, according to a press release by 7-Eleven.

Since then, 7-Eleven and Flirtey have continued to make deliveries to about a dozen residents from a 7-Eleven store in Reno, Nevada, as part of a drone delivery service trial.

It was on Tuesday, Dec. 20, that Flirtey announced it had completed 77 autonomous drone deliveries to customers' homes in the U.S. during the month of November.

Courtesy of 7-Eleven

"Flirtey conducted regular weekend deliveries... from a 7-Eleven store to a dozen select customers who were able to use a custom app to place their unique order," Flirtey announced in a press release. "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 is placed, the customer's 7-Eleven order is placed in a Flirtey drone delivery container and flown to their home using precision GPS. When it arrives at the customer's home, the drone lowers the package and alerts the customer. The average time it took for a customer to receive their package was 10 minutes.

“My wife and I both work and have three small children ages 7, 6 and 1. The convenience of having access to instant, 24/7 drone delivery is priceless,” Reno resident Michael told 7-Eleven in July. “It’s amazing that a flying robot just delivered us food and drinks in a matter of minutes.”

According to Flirtey, 100 percent of customers who participated in the trial stated that they will continue to use Flirtey drone delivery service as the company expands.

Both Alphabet’s Project Wing and Amazon’s Prime Air have been working to complete similar deliveries, though neither have completed as many as 7-Eleven and Flirtey, Amazon having demonstrated its first delivery to a customer only two weeks ago, according to the retail company's announcement.

Flirtey and 7-Eleven hope to be able to continue to serve food and beverages by drone, as well as over-the-counter medication and hope to expand this service after trial periods.

Liesl is a web reporter for KSL.com. You can email her at lnielsen@ksl.com.

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