TECHNOLOGY

7-Eleven completes first month of drone deliveries

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

7-Eleven has completed 77 autonomous drone deliveries to customer homes in the United States.

Through its collaboration with Flirtey, a service that supports commercial drone deliveries to customer homes in the United States, the convenience store chain conducted regular weekend deliveries to mobile shoppers during November. A dozen select shoppers used a custom app to place orders, which were fulfilled from a dedicated 7-Eleven store, the company said.

Once shoppers place an order, merchandise – including items such as hot and cold food and over-the-counter medicines – is loaded into a custom Flirtey drone delivery container and flown autonomously using GPS technology to the customer’s house. Once at its destination, the drone hovers in place and lowers the package. On average, customers receive their packages less than 10 minutes from the point-of-order, the company said.

Along with listing all items available for delivery, the interactive app also notifies customers when their drone was loaded, when it departed from the store, and an estimated time when it would arrive at their doorstep.

7-Eleven kicked off its partnership with Flirtey in July.

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TECHNOLOGY

Union for air pilots warns about last-minute Amazon holiday deliveries

BY By Marianne Wilson

The union that represents cargo pilots who fly Amazon goods has launched online ads that warn staffing problems could lead to delayed deliveries.

The ads, set to run on Facebook and Google, link to a site called “Can Amazon Deliver?” that outlines alleged staffing issues at two cargo airlines from which Amazon leases planes, reported ReCode.

“This holiday season, Amazon customers may want to think twice before ordering last-minute deliveries,” the site reads, according to the report.

To read more, click here.

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Starbucks taps “Simpsons” writers for animated series

BY Marianne Wilson

Starbucks has launched its first-ever animated web series — with the help of some veteran comedy writers.

The limited-edition series, called “1st & Main," debuted on Dec. 16, on the coffee giant’s digital platforms. It features cartoon animals that hang out in a Starbucks store. The kick-off episode, “Baby Names,” follows two porcupines as they try to name their future child, with assistance from baristas calling out customers’ names written on Starbucks cups.

The lighthearted series was created by “Simpsons” writers Joel H. Cohen, John Frink and Rob LaZebnik, and Starbucks. The inspiration is real-life customers and baristas at a Starbucks outpost in Los Angeles.

The animated shorts run 75-90 seconds, and each arrives weekly at starbucks.com/1standmain through Jan. 20, with a special Valentine’s Day episode in February.

This is Starbucks’ second foray into original media content. In September, the coffee giant launched its first-ever original content series, “Upstanders,” which was comprised of short stories, videos and podcasts featuring Americans helping out in their community.

For more, click here.

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