Just the Thing for a Hot Day: Slurpee Delivery by Drone

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It’s a hot-day dream come true: Slurpee delivery by drone. I mean, just imagine: There you are, mowing the lawn or just running errands in the heat and you’re feeling steamy, parched, in the mood for a frosty beverage.

Suddenly, look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane … it’s a 7-Eleven drone bringing you a Slurpee — and whatever else you’ve ordered from your friendly neighborhood always-open convenience store. It’s like those old Kool-Aid commercials — only, you know, icier.

But Slurpee delivery by drone is actually a real thing that’s happening. 7-Eleven just announced it has teamed up with the independent drone delivery service Flirtey to carry out the “the first fully autonomous drone delivery to a customer’s residence to advance research toward integrating drones into the National Airspace System,” according to a press release. According to 7-Eleven, which completed the mission in Reno, Nevada, in honor of the chain’s 89th anniversary and in collaboration with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, the FAA-approved store-to-home package delivery by drone was the first of its kind in the United States.

The two successfully completed merchandise deliveries — which were rather complex to achieve, requiring “special flight planning, risk analysis and detailed flight procedures ensuring residential safety and privacy were equally integrated,” Chris Walach, NIAS director of operations, said — brought a Slurpee along with a sandwich (chicken), doughnuts, coffee (delivered hot) and some candy into the backyard of a Reno dad who is being identified only as “Michael.”

“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,” Michael is quoted as saying in the release. “It’s amazing that a flying robot just delivered us food and drinks in a matter of minutes.”

“This delivery marks the first time a retailer has worked with a drone delivery company to transport immediate consumables from store to home,” 7-Eleven Executive Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer Jesus H. Delgado-Jenkins commented, according to the company. “In the future, we plan to make the entire assortment in our stores available for delivery to customers in minutes.”

7-Eleven taquitos via drone? Brings a whole new meaning to the catchphrase “Oh, thank heaven.”

Photo courtesy of 7-Eleven