March 26, 2016

First fully autonomous drone delivery to an urban residence in the USA

Drone delivery company, Flirtey, has made the first urban delivery in the United States by a fully autonomous drone.

Flirtey started in 2013 in Australia, delivering textbooks to universities, before it moved to Nevada. Its six-engine multicopter flew along a predetermined path. When it reached the target house, it lowered a package containing bottled water, emergency food, and a first aid kit. The house was uninhabited, as the flight was a demonstration of what a rescue drone might be able to carry to people in need. Flirtey already conducted a rural delivery test, so it makes sense that urban was next, even if that “urban” is defined as a fairly small town. According to Flirtey CEO Matthew Sweeney, 86% of packages are 5.5 pounds or less, and that the drone is designed to carry payloads that size up to 10 miles away.

UAVs can be operated commercially in a growing number of countries. Flirtey is in discussions with regulators all around the world, and in particular, Flirtey is pioneering drone delivery in New Zealand.

In July 2015, Australian commercial drone startup Flirtey recently made the first ever drone parcel delivery in Auckland, New Zealand by transporting auto parts 2km. Partnering with Fastway Couriers, Flirtey’s drone was able to make the 20-minute car trip in under five minutes.

SOURCES - Flirtey, Twitter, Popular Science, Youtube, Business Insider

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