By Corinne Murdock |
Walmart announced last Tuesday that they were bringing drone delivery to Arizona and five other states by the end of this year. Those other states will be Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.
The retail giant projected that it would reach 4 million households across the six states, averaging about 1 million packages in its first year.
The drone service would be available between 8 am and 8 pm. Only certain items would be eligible, in packages weighing up to 10 pounds. The delivery fee would be about $4, guaranteed to deliver within 30 minutes.
Walmart is the latest in a race with other corporations seeking to capitalize on speedier delivery services using technology like drones. Amazon has been testing a fully autonomous drone delivery service. Although they completed their first human-free delivery in 2016, the corporation hasn’t launched that delivery option officially.
Walmart contracted with DroneUp, a drone service based out of Virginia Beach, Virginia, last November. The drones require a flight engineer to navigate them from the stores to the homes.
Their latest partnership hasn’t been the first. During initial months of the pandemic, Walmart used DroneUp’s technology to deliver COVID-19 tests to Las Vegas residences.
Walmart also launched test runs with other drone companies: FlyTrex and Zipline.
Prior to launching drone delivery test runs in the U.S., Walmart tested drone delivery in 2019 with the Japanese supermarket company it owned at the time, Seiyu.