FAA OKs First Commercial Drone Delivery


The first-ever fully autonomous commercial drone delivery to a customer’s doorstep was completed last week, with an OK from the FAA, delivering a package of hot and cold snacks from a 7-Eleven in Reno, Nevada, to a nearby family’s backyard. Drone manufacturer Flirtey and the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, a nonprofit group working with the state government, teamed up to make the project work. “This delivery required special flight planning, risk analysis and detailed flight procedures ensuring residential safety and privacy were equally integrated,” said Chris Walach, operations director for NIAS.

Once it reached the delivery site, about a mile away, in less than five minutes, the Flirtey drone hovered in place and gently lowered its package by winch to the waiting customers. “The convenience of having access to instant, 24/7 drone delivery is priceless,” said the Reno resident, identified only as Michael, who received the Flirtey delivery, on July 11. He said he and his wife both work and have three small children. “It’s amazing that a flying robot just delivered us food and drinks in a matter of minutes.” Hot coffee arrived hot, and a Slurpee arrived still frozen. Flirtey said it envisions enabling autonomous drone delivery for humanitarian, online retail and food industries.