Beacon Transcript – Commercial drone delivery services might be closer than you think as the first chain the offer the option might quite unexpectedly be 7-Eleven.
We are living in a very fast-paced world. As such, most expect services to be top notch and just as fast. Big chains and couriers have been developing their delivery services and offers. At the same time, they are looking for new ones.
Commercial drone delivery services may a be a new such option. Drones have started having a more frequent and common usage. They could come to ensure the global Internet broadband. Little such buzzers are also used in the entertainment industry.
Their next utility may be in the delivery sector. Big technology industry names such as Alphabet and Amazon are already working on such projects. Even Starbucks tried introducing a commercial drone delivery.
However, 7-Eleven was the first to cross the finish line. Amazon Prime Air and Project Wing from Alphabet have a seemingly common goal. They are seeking to ensure a regular commercial drone delivery service.
7-Eleven, the convenience store chain, initiated its own such project. 7-Eleven is the American subsidiary of Seven & I Holdings Co., Ltd. Its headquarters are situated in Irving, Texas.
The convenience store chain has an international outspread. It operates, licenses, and franchises more than 56,000 stores. They can be found in about 18 countries.
Now, the company partnered up with Flirtey. They are an Australian start-up. Based in Nevada, the company is trying to introduce the first commercial drone delivery services and systems.
Flirtey is reportedly trying to ensure such services. They are targeting multiple domains. These include anything from medical emergencies and rescue to e-commerce.
The drone maker is collaborating with the store chain and flying demo tests. They are based in Reno, in a 7-Eleven convenience store.
Details about these tests have been revealed. A dozen select customers have reportedly benefited from them. Such customers are said to live within a mile of the shop.
They are said to have received drone-delivered goods. Such a delivery pilot would be the first of its kind in the U.S. Regular commercial drone delivery systems have yet to be released.
Such a service would have previously unavailable. The FAA or Federal Aviation Administration had strict initial drone regulations. They essentially prohibited such flights.
Their reasoning was as follows. Drones had to be continuously within the pilot’s line of sight. They also should not have flown over a person.
But FAA has announced that it is working on the drone regulations. It is trying to develop broader rules. Private companies have also joined the process.
The 7-Eleven commercial drone delivery services have reportedly already served customers. 77 users have apparently benefited from them. They are all based in Nevada.
The commercial drones are said to have delivered the goods to their doorsteps. Such flights are said to have been carried out throughout November.
They involved flying over populated and suburban areas. Such commercial drones delivered various good. Either food and beverages. Or potentially over-the-counter medicines.
Drones located the customer address by using their GPS system. After arriving, they lowered the packages. Reports state that the store-ground delivery time was short. 10 minutes are said to have passed between placing the order and its delivery.
These commercial drone delivery systems did follow regulations. They were within their pilot’s line of sight. However, they flew autonomously.
Back in October, the FAA and NASA tested a new control system. The low-altitude air traffic control would benefit drones. Through it, pilots could watch the devices the entire time.
Such a system will be very important for a nationwide drone delivery system. More tests will be needed before a large-scale program roll-out.
7-Eleven has nonetheless made the first steps towards regular commercial drone delivery services. UPS also announced its wish for a similar program. They are hoping to use drones for urgent deliveries. Hard-to-reach areas in the United States would be especially targeted.
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