TOKYO: Seven-Eleven Japan Co. and ANA Holdings Inc. on Thursday showed to the media a test of a delivery system using a remote-controlled drone in a residential area in a suburb of Tokyo.
The two companies aim to commercialize the drone delivery system around 2025 after further tests. The system is expected to be in high demand from residents in remote islands and sparsely populated areas.
The test took place at a Seven-Eleven Japan convenience store in the town of Hinode, western Tokyo.
A staff member of the store who received an order for “oden” stew from a customer through a smartphone packed the food into a box and loaded it onto a drone placed on a launch pad at the store’s parking area.
The remote-controlled aircraft flew four to five minutes to a park 1.4 kilometers away, where the customer, a man in his 70s, was waiting for the product. The process between the order receipt and delivery completion took about 30 minutes.
The soup for the oden had not spilled at all during its journey on the drone, the man said.
ANA Holdings, the parent of All Nippon Airways, is in charge of operating drones for its joint test program with Seven-Eleven Japan, a unit of retail giant Seven & i Holdings Co.
A drone delivery system experiment in a residential area is groundbreaking, according to the firms. A Seven-Eleven Japan representative said that the company sees “tremendous potential” in the system.