US First: Drone Delivers Package to Residential Area
We're now 'closer to the day that drones make regular deliveries to your front doorstep'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 25, 2016 3:48 PM CDT
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe feels the weight of a drone, along with Flirtey's Tom Bass, left, Matt Sweeny, CEO of Flirtey, in Wise County, Va., Friday, July 17, 2015.   (Stephanie Klein-Davis/The Roanoke Times via AP)

(Newser) – A drone has successfully delivered a package to a residential location in a small Nevada town in what its maker and the governor of the state said Friday was the first fully autonomous urban drone delivery in the US. Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeney said the six-rotor drone flew about a half-mile along a pre-programmed delivery route on March 10 and lowered the package outside a vacant residence in an uninhabited area of Hawthorne, southeast of Reno. The route was established using GPS. A pilot and visual observers were on standby during the flight but weren't needed, Sweeney said. He said the package included bottled water, food and a first-aid kit. The US is now "closer to the day that drones make regular deliveries to your front doorstep," Sweeney said.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval congratulated the company "on successfully completing the nation's first fully autonomous urban package delivery." NASA is working with the drone industry and the Federal Aviation Administration on a low-altitude air traffic control system to prevent crashes involving drones and other low-altitude aircraft, the AP reports. Flirtey conducted the first FAA-approved, rural drone delivery in July to a rural health care clinic in Virginia. The Nevada delivery demonstrates that advanced drone systems allow aerial vehicles to safely navigate around buildings and deliver packages with precision within a populated area, Sweeney said.