According to an announcement made by the retailer on Thursday, the drone delivery service is now available in the metropolitan areas of Tampa, Orlando, Phoenix, and Dallas.
Why it is significant: Just a few short years ago, the concept of close-range drone shipping was considered something out of a science fiction movie. It is now a reality for the millions of people in the United States who live within driving distance of a store that is taking part.
Customers near one of Walmart’s 34 planned drone sites will be able to place orders for eligible goods weighing up to 10 pounds to be delivered by drone in 30 minutes.
According to a press release issued by Walmart, “Once a customer places an order, the item is fulfilled from the store, packaged, loaded into the drone, and delivered right to their yard using a cable that gently lowers the package,”
The company has teamed up with a drone services company called DroneUp, which offers retail flights with the help of FAA-approved pilots.
The big picture
“The race to bring drone delivery to U.S. households is shaping up to be a battle of titans.” In addition to Amazon and UPS, a number of other companies are also working on the technology.
What we are keeping an eye on is whether or not issues arise as the use of drones for delivery becomes more widespread.
It’s possible that the constant buzzing of fleets of delivery drones in the sky could get annoying, but it’s also possible that we’d be better off if we used them instead of gas-guzzling trucks.
The launch in these three new states is part of a larger plan by Walmart to build the capacity to deliver one million packages by drone each year.
The store wants to make its DroneUp network reach four million more homes in six U.S. states. DroneUp has already set up three delivery hub locations inside Walmart stores in Northwest Arkansas.
This encompasses the states that were involved in the announcement made on Thursday, in addition to Arkansas, Utah, and Virginia.
The press release didn’t say anything about how package delivery by drone is going in Utah and Virginia right now. The press release didn’t say anything about how package delivery by drone is going in Utah and Virginia right now.
released by Walmart U.S.’s vice president of innovation and automation, “Drone delivery makes it possible for our customers to shop those last-minute or forgotten items with ease, in a package that is, to put it bluntly, really cool.”
Businesses are putting a lot of time and money into developing drone delivery as a faster and more efficient way to move light loads than using ground vehicles.
But even for businesses with a lot of money, like Amazon, drones have been hard to use on a large scale because of regulations and technological limitations.
Walmart has made a smart investment in DroneUp so that it can get around these problems, which it plans to do soon.
The two businesses show how much of a physical presence Walmart has in the United States, where it has more than 4,700 stores.
The companies say that this will let Walmart reach a large number of people within the range of a drone. Walmart says that it has already used same-day service to send out thousands of drone deliveries.
On the DroneUp Delivery website, it said that services might be temporarily unavailable if there were strong winds or other bad weather.