Wal­mart announced last week its col­lab­o­ra­tion with Drone­Up drone deliv­ery ser­vice has expand­ed fur­ther in to the U.S States of Ari­zona, Flori­da and Texas, reports a press release. The launch in these three new States fits into the retail­er’s wider plan to build the capac­i­ty to deliv­er 1 mil­lion pack­ages per year by drone.

The ser­vice which already has made thou­sands of same-day drone deliv­er­ies is part of an expan­sion to offer this deliv­ery option in six states by the end of the year and to cov­er 4 mil­lion house­holds. The oth­er three are Arkansas, Utah and Vir­ginia. In total, 34 stores in 23 cities will have drone deliv­ery avail­able. Drone­Up has already launched three deliv­ery hub sites at Wal­mart stores in North­west Arkansas.

Cus­tomers with­in one mile of par­tic­i­pat­ing stores (four in the Phoenix area, sev­en in the Tam­pa and Orlan­do areas and 11 in the Dal­las region) are eli­gi­ble to use the ser­vice. Orders can be placed through the Drone­Up Deliv­ery web­site between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. local time.

Accord­ing to the release, “Drones can deliv­er more than 10,000 eli­gi­ble Wal­mart items up to ten lbs in weight, includ­ing frag­ile items like eggs, in as lit­tle as 30 min­utes. There are no order min­i­mums and the deliv­ery fee is just USD3.99.”

Vik Gopalakr­ish­nan, Wal­mart U.S. Vice Pres­i­dent of Inno­va­tion and Automa­tion, com­ment­ed, “Drone deliv­ery makes it pos­si­ble for our cus­tomers to shop those last-minute or for­got­ten items with ease, in a pack­age that’s frankly real­ly cool.”

The retail­er has a sig­nif­i­cant phys­i­cal foot­print of more than 4,700 U.S. stores that allows it to reach a large por­tion of the pop­u­la­tion with­in a drone’s range.

Drone­Up deliv­er­ies use a team of cer­ti­fied pilots oper­at­ing with­in Fed­er­al Avi­a­tion Admin­is­tra­tion (FAA) guide­lines to man­age flight oper­a­tions. To com­plete the deliv­ery, the drones use a cable that low­ers the pay­load into the safest loca­tion of the customer’s home, like a back­yard or dri­ve­way. The Drone­Up Deliv­ery web­site not­ed that ser­vices may tem­porar­i­ly be unavail­able if strong winds or oth­er inclement weath­er is present.

Vik Gopalakr­ish­nan

Tom Walk­er, CEO of Drone­Up, said, “Our mis­sion is to set the gold stan­dard for drone deliv­ery and by part­ner­ing with Wal­mart, bring the incred­i­ble ben­e­fits that drones offer to local com­mu­ni­ties, organ­i­sa­tions and busi­ness­es.”

He added, “Our approach is unique; we prac­tice safe­ty above all else and incor­po­rate state-of-the-art tech­nol­o­gy. Our strong rela­tion­ship with the FAA has also been crit­i­cal to our suc­cess as we build an infra­struc­ture that sup­ports growth and great career pro­grams for oper­a­tors now and in the future.”

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