RENO, Nev. July 21, 2016
7-Eleven, the world’s largest retailer, and Flirtey, the leading independent drone delivery service, announced they have completed the world’s first fully autonomous drone delivery from a 7-Eleven store to a customer’s residence to advance research toward integrating drones into the National Airspace System. This delivery is the first time a U.S. customer has received a package to their home via drone, representing a historic milestone in both U.S. and global commerce. The delivery was conducted on 7/10 in celebration of the convenience store chain’s 89th birthday on 7/11.
The goal of advancing drone deliveries as well as further refining Flirtey’s delivery technology and packaging were highlighted when Flirtey teamed with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) for the delivery. “This delivery required special flight planning, risk analysis, and detailed flight procedures ensuring residential safety and privacy were equally integrated,” said Chris Walach, Director of Operations for NIAS.”
At a Reno, Nevada 7-Eleven store, two deliveries were successfully completed. 7-Eleven merchandise – including hot and cold food items – were loaded into a unique Flirtey drone delivery container and flown autonomously using precision GPS to a local customer’s house. Once at the family’s backyard, the Flirtey drone hovered in place and gently lowered each package to the customer. The purchases were delivered to the family in the span of just a few minutes. Products ordered included Slurpees, a chicken sandwich, donuts, hot coffee and 7-Select candy. In the future, both companies expect drone packages to include “everyday essentials” such as OTC medicines, allergy relief tablets, batteries and sunscreen.
“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,” said 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.”
The deliveries also mark Flirtey’s largest partnership to date and brings the drone delivery startup even closer to its vision of reinventing the delivery process for humanitarian, online retail and food delivery industries.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to have 7-Eleven, the largest convenience chain in the world, embracing new technologies and working with us at Flirtey to make drone delivery a reality for customers all over the world,” said Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeny. “This is just the first step in our partnership with 7-Eleven. Flirtey’s historic drone deliveries to date have been stepping stones to store-to-home drone delivery, and today is a giant leap toward a not too distant future where we are delivering you convenience on demand.”
Building on this initial collaboration, the two companies have initiated a strategic partnership that includes expanding testing to customer homes, with the intention of launching commercial deliveries in the near future.
“Drone delivery is the ultimate convenience for our customers and this partnership opens up enormous opportunities to be at the forefront of redefining convenience,” said 7-Eleven EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer Jesus H. Delgado-Jenkins, “This delivery marks the first time a retailer has partnered with a drone delivery company to transport food, beverages and essential need items from store-to-home. Our customers lead demanding lives, are on-the-go 24/7 and turn to us to help navigate the challenges of their daily routines. We look forward to working with Flirtey to deliver to our customers exactly what they need, whenever and wherever they need it.”
“I congratulate Nevada-based company Flirtey on making history yet again – this time by partnering with the world’s largest retailer to complete the first store-to-home drone delivery in Reno, Nevada,” said Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. “Through our FAA Test Site designation, Flirtey has cemented Nevada’s position as the leader in the commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) industry and I look forward to seeing them continue to grow and bring jobs to our region.”
Flirtey is the premier independent drone delivery service, with a mission to create the fastest, most efficient and customer-centric delivery service in the world. The U.S.-based startup has worked with NASA, the University of Nevada, Reno, The New Jersey Test Site and Virginia Tech to create the leading technology and logistics systems for a mass-market drone delivery network. Flirtey has conducted four historical drone delivery flights in the past year. Flirtey was the first company 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 through a collaboration with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Flirtey’s landmark achievements have been recognized by the Smithsonian Institution for display at its Air and Space Museum, which accepted the Flirtey drone to join other iconic American aircraft, including the Space Shuttle Discovery and the Wright Flyer, on display at the museum. Learn more at www.flirtey.com
7‑Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Irving, Texas, 7‑Eleven® operates, franchises and licenses more than 10,700 7‑Eleven stores in North America. Globally, approximately 59,500 7‑Eleven stores serve customers in 17 countries. Find out more online at www.7‑Eleven.com.
About the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS)
On behalf of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS), a non-profit corporation, leads the growth of the Nevada Autonomous Vehicle Industry through business teaming relationships, collaborating with primary research institutions on UAS research and development, and enhancing the Nevada UAS Industry knowledge base in order to attract new and permanent business and create jobs in the State of Nevada. Learn more at www.nias-uas.com.