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.
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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