7-Eleven Using Drones to Deliver Store Products


7-Eleven Using Drones to Deliver Store Products

You may soon be able to order a consumable from the comfort of your home. The reason is not far-fetched. Recently, 7-Eleven made a drone delivery which is about to shape the course of history in a manner you would be forgiven for terming “disruptive.” The company made its first commercial delivery to a family residence in Reno, Nevada earlier in July. The convenience store chain partnered with drone startup company, Flirtey to make the delivery. The goods were packaged into two containers and separately flown to the family and a rope was used to lower the containers to the family’s backyard. 

The historic delivery included a chicken sandwich, candy, donuts, coffee as well as some of the company’s trademark carbonated drinks, Slurpees. The drone was autonomously flown for one mile from the store to the household using its GPS system to navigate. It will be recalled that Flirtey made the first federally-backed autonomous drone delivery sometime in March this year to an abandoned home in Hawthorne, Nevada. The company also first made a delivery of medical supplies in Virginia in the summer of 2015. So, this isn’t the first time that a delivery was made by drone. What makes this particular delivery stand out is that it marks the first time that a retailer has worked alongside a drone delivery company to transport immediate consumables from store to home. 

The event raises hope that many people may soon be able to order consumables without having to physically leave their comfort zones. Although there are many hurdles out, this successful delivery is a fitful demonstration of what the future holds for both retailers and consumers. As long as there is no doubting the great potential for the actualization of the long touted autonomous delivery portends for retailers and consumers alike, regulatory agencies like the FAA still have rules in place that does not allow users to fly drones at night or outside the no-fly zones. The restrictions will play a huge part in determining whether 7-Eleven and Flirtey will become successful or not in the near future. 

Concerns have also been raised by consumers whether such autonomous deliveries will be rolled out to wider regions. The state of Nevada has been designated as one of the six FAA drone-testing sites in the United States, a region where government agencies, companies, and universities can now easily test drone services and related technologies. So, this makes flying a drone in Nevada easier than in non-drone-testing sites. This successful delivery was also carried out under the watchful eyes of the regulatory authorities. In spite of these constraints, 7-Eleven and Flirtey have already offered a glimpse of what a drone commercial delivery would be like in future, and they have proven that history is about to be rewritten. Well, only time will time will tell what the future holds for these drone companies.

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  • Becca Parkinson
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