Washington, Dec 22: A US-based drone delivery service has completed its first month in operation, successfully sending over-the-counter medicines, hot food items and cold beverages to customers' homes using GPS-enabled autonomous flying vehicles.
The company conducted regular weekend deliveries last month from a convenience store to a dozen select customers who used a smartphone app to place orders. Along with listing all items available for delivery, the app also notified customers when their drone was loaded, when it departed from the store and when it was arriving at their doorstep.
Once an order was placed, the merchandise including items such a hot and cold food and over-the-counter medicines were loaded into a drone delivery container and flown autonomously using precision GPS to a local customer's house.
At the customer's home, the drone hovered in place and lowered the package. On average, customers receive their packages in less than 10 minutes from the time of order. The company completed 77 autonomous drone deliveries to customer homes.
Customers who participated stated they will continue to use the drone delivery service, the company said. "This is a giant leap towards a future where everyone can experience the convenience of instant store-to-door drone delivery," said Matthew Sweeny, CEO of the drone delivery service Flirtey.
Customers of all ages participated in the deliveries including elderly couples, working parents and busy college students and feedback from customers cited the speed and convenience as the most appealing aspects of the deliveries
Popular items included hot food items, cold beverages and over-the-counter medicines such as aspirin, the company said.