Drone test takes place at 7-Eleven in Japan

Grocery store 7 eleven is testing 20-minute drone deliveries to Nokonoshima Island in the city of Fukuoka in Japan as part of Tokyo’s project to create business models for logistics services using drones in Tokyo, DroneLife reported.

ANA Holdings, Japan’s main airline consortium and the group behind ALL NIPPON Airways and Air Japan, is overseeing the pilot program. The aim of the trial is to show that drone delivery in suburban areas is safe and convenient and includes flights and delivery over partially densely populated areas.

Drone delivery for 7-Eleven is expected to achieve full-scale Level 4 drone operations – unassisted flights over populated areas – in addition to having the ability to fly beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). The Japanese government plans to lift the ban on level 4 operations later this year.

See also: Amid delivery challenges, drones could be the future of on-demand food

A test has already been carried out at 7-Eleven in Hinode, Nishitama District, Tokyo, which involved setting up a take-off and landing site for drones in the Hinode Oguno store. Customers from four different delivery points participated in the pilot program by placing orders online.

Once the delivery program is fully operational, drones will use existing store parking lots to take off, with 7-Eleven employees loading unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with up to 5kg of cargo. The whole system that allows a drone to operate is called an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS).

Japanese Association for the Industrial Development of UAS (JUIDA) facilitates and supports the development of the use of drones in Japan since 2014. The industrial group has more than 13,000 members and 250 accredited drone flight schools. It offers training, legislation and trade fairs, and also involves companies in international collaborations with the public and private sectors.

Read more: CTO Express Drone: Fully Autonomous Grocery Delivery Is On The Way

“There are currently no stores selling general goods in Nokonoshima, so residents have to take the ferry to town to do their shopping,” according to a JUIDA. translation of an article in a Japanese journal Logi-Biz. “During testing, it was found that the goods could be delivered within 20 minutes of ordering. “

The goal is to start the delivery of 7-Eleven drones to Japan as a permanent service in 2025.

Japan has more than 21,000 7-Eleven stores, more than anywhere else in the world. Based in Texas, the convenience store has approximately 9,500 locations in the United States and more than 70,000 worldwide.

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