Walmart is expanding its drone deliveries to reach another 4 million people in the US

Walmart is expanding its drone deliveries to reach another 4 million people in the US

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Walmart Stores Inc. announced today that it’s ratcheting up drone deliveries in the U.S., opening a slew of new sites from where packages can be taken by air to customers.

The retail giant has been promising drone deliveries for several years, but getting the service off the ground, literally, has been a slow process. Late in 2021, the company announced that it would be teaming up with Virginia-based drone technology firm DroneUp LLC to start a drone delivery service in Farmington, Arkansas, and now it seems it’s ready to move to the next stage.

Walmart says by the end of the year, the Arkansas site will be joined by another 34 sites across Arizona, Florida, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. It’s expected that 4 million households will be serviceable within the year.

“After completing hundreds of deliveries within a matter of months across our existing DroneUp hubs, we’ve seen firsthand how drones can offer customers a practical solution for getting certain items, fast,” said Walmart in a press release. “More importantly, we’ve seen a positive response from our customers that have used the service. In fact, while we initially thought customers would use the service for emergency items, we’re finding they use it for its sheer convenience, like a quick fix for a weeknight meal.”

Walmart explained that customers will be able to order items from 8:00 am and 8:00 pm, as long as the said items are not too large and weigh no more than 10 pounds. The cost will be $3.99 per delivery and should take no more than 30 minutes to arrive at the door. The operators are certified drone pilots working from a DroneUp delivery hub, which according to Walmart may benefit other businesses in the area.

“This means DroneUp will offer local businesses and municipalities aerial drone solutions in areas like insurance, emergency response and real estate,” Walmart said. “For example, a local construction agency can work with DroneUp to monitor on-site job progress through aerial drone photography.”

Photo: Walmart

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