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US drone firm announces it has completed 77 autonomous deliveries

A US drone delivery company has announced that it has completed 77 autonomous deliveries from a local convenience store to customers’ homes. Australian start-up company Flirtey, which is based in Nevada, made the announcement this week which represents a significant step forward for future drone technology delivery services.

The company confirmed in a press release that it has shipped everything from flu medicine, hot food and toiletries to customers from the chain of 7-Eleven convenience stores in the locality. The success of its operations has boosted the drone technology sector in relation to delivery services which has had its criticisms in some sectors.

However, with a month of successful drone deliveries completed, the prospects look very bright for the industry, with Flirtey’s CEO saying he envisages a future where everyone can experience the benefits of drone delivery services.

Flirtey CEO, Matthew Sweeney said: “We have now successfully completed the first month of routine commercial drone deliveries to customer homes in partnership with 7-Eleven. This is a giant leap towards a future where everyone can experience the convenience of Flirtey’s instant door-to-door drone delivery services. We’re delighted to be the first company to complete regular commercial deliveries to residences in the country.”

Flirtey confirmed that it made a total of 77 drone deliveries to the homes of select customers on weekends in November, who filed orders using a special application. The application allowed consumers to order items, including food and over-the-counter medicine, which were subsequently packed into special containers and flown by drones that used GPS capabilities in order to locate the addresses.

The company disclosed that the service got items to customers in average time of around ten minutes. Flirtey also announced that it plans to continue its collaboration with 7-Eleven and expand its drone delivery service with the firm next year.

Amazon earlier this month said it completed its first delivery by drone, in what the global online retail giant hopes will become a trend in automated shipments by air. The delivery to a customer near Cambridge, England, was announced in a tweet by Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos.

 Amazon, which has been testing drone deliveries in the US and elsewhere, has on several occasions complained that the regulatory environment in the United States for these automated deliveries is more cumbersome.

Amazon is not the only group working on drone deliveries. Google parent Alphabet has a similar project known as Wing and some reports say US retail behemoth Wal-Mart is also studying drone deliveries.

In the US, the first commercial drone delivery was made in July when 7-Eleven, with drone start-up Flirtey, transported a chicken sandwich, hot coffee and donuts to a customer near Reno, Nevada. With the firm’s latest press statement declaring it completed 77 successful autonomous missions, its evident the company is going from strength-to-strength.