7-Eleven Delivers via Drone

7-Eleven Delivers Slurpee by Drone

By Alex Batty, MHI Marketing Communications Coordinator |@mhi_alex

7-Eleven and Flirtey just took it to a whole new level.

On July 10th, 7-Eleven delivered Slurpees, a chicken sandwich, donuts, hot coffee and candy to the home of a family in Reno, NV by using a drone. While 7-Eleven already supported online ordering via apps like Postmates, autonomous delivery via drone and GPS is a new step for both the company and the industry.

The possibilities for drone delivery are endless, but it’s really the convenience that is going to prove the selling point for our instant gratification culture. Having access to instant 24/7 drone delivery is going to change the way we consume, well, everything. But it’s not just good for consumption. It’s also a change that can create some good. Drone delivery could be a critical helping hand for families with children or others who can’t easily leave the house, but have urgent needs for items like OTC medicines or other living supplies.

The drone used was created by Flirtey, a privately held company based in Reno, Nevada. Rather than adapting existing unmanned aerial vehicles, Flirtey builds custom drones, develops the software to run them, and creates proprietary packaging and containers to keep items secure during delivery, all to make deliveries needed in humanitarian and health work, retail and food industries.

However, this wasn’t just a matter of plunking some Slurpees in a box and setting the drone free. “This delivery required special flight planning, risk analysis, and detailed flight procedures ensuring residential safety and privacy were equally integrated,” Chris Walach, the director of operations for the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS), said in a statement. The NIAS is a Nevada government-backed non-profit autonomous vehicle advocacy group that helped oversee the delivery. As FAA regulations still are prohibitive to drone delivery, the field will develop slowly, but now that it’s out there, it’ll show potential users and consumers possibilities. The FAA is expected to put new rules into effect in late August that allow the operation of small, unmanned aircraft in the national airspace.

You can meet with and talk to Flirtey because they will be exhibiting at ProMat 17. To register for ProMat, visit http://www.promatshow.com/register.aspx?ref=attendees and you can drop by and see them!

Slurpees by drone? If this is the future, sign me up.