Drones one step closer to becoming home delivery reality
Earlier this month, Flirtey’s autonomous drone successfully delivered a chicken sandwich, donuts, coffee and a Slurpee from 7-Eleven to a home in Reno, Nevada. The drone used its GPS system to navigate to the home and the packages were lowered into the garden with a rope. Have a look at the drone delivery:
This represents the first commercial-to-consumer FAA-approved autonomous drone delivery. Both 7-Eleven and Flirtey have interest in expanding this drone delivery partnership which will allow consumers to purchase and enjoy 7-Eleven’s iconic Slurpee drinks without leaving the house. The customers in the pilot program live within a one-mile radius of the 7-Eleven store that was selected to make the deliveries. This is an important fact considering the heat in Reno. This particular drone delivery took only a few minutes to complete. Investment in drone delivery technology is expected to continue as evidenced by a patent recently granted to Amazon which details the use of street lamps and churches as drone docking stations. Flirtey has officially put itself on the drone-delivery-map with this successful delivery, a space that includes retail industry giants such as Amazon and Walmart.
Read more on this successful drone delivery here.
Supply Chain start-up compared to Airbnb gets big round of funding
Similar to homeowners sharing their personal dwelling space with strangers on Airbnb, Flexe is a platform used to couple space-needy warehouse managers with facilities that currently have a surplus of storage room. Flexe is in its third year of operation and just secured $14.25 million in funding, bringing it to a total of $20 million raised capital. The company is based in Seattle and is offering warehouse space in over 200 warehouses across 45 markets which amounts to approximately 400,000 pallet positions. It seems as though this is a concept that can help smaller businesses avoid entering into costly warehouse leasing agreements.
The company website operates in a similar way to the Airbnb site. Users simply click “find warehouse space,” enter their desired location and/or storage requirements, and the site delivers the results that match the search query. The key to the expansion of this site will be the ability to get warehouses to sign up and offer their excess space. Flexe plans on expanding its workforce with the new capital it will receive. This is definitely a startup to keep an eye on this year.
Read more about Flexe’s recent round of funding here.
All hands on deck for Tesla’s new gigafactory
If you haven’t already heard, Tesla is building an enormous $5 billion battery factory that will stretch across 3,000 acres near Reno, Nevada. The company has increased the number of workers at the site from 500 to over 1,000 in recent weeks. So what is the rush? Tesla aims to have the factory operational by the end of 2016 in order to help meet the demand for its new Model 3 sedan, which is set to sell for half the price ($35,000) of the current Tesla Model S. With the factory currently at 1/6 of the desired size, there is clearly a lot of work to do. The new manufacturing site will be used to produce a new format of battery. Today, nearly all lithium-ion batteries are produced in Asia, and this new facility could represent new beginnings for the battery production industry on U.S. soil. Elon Musk expects demand for the batteries produced at this factory to boom as Tesla expands its electric vehicle line. Plans for new automobiles include a sport-utility vehicle, a pick-up truck and a bus.
Read more on the status of Tesla’s new gigafactory here.
Have a great weekend!