Walmart has begun its limited drone delivery service in Fayetteville, North Carolina. For now, Walmart will only be delivering select groceries by drones as a part of a trial run to test the system and make sure it’s ready to go mainstream.
From today, if you live in Fayetteville, North Carolina, you can get your groceries delivered by drone. The drones are from drone delivery company Flytrex and will be flown using a cloud-based system. Unlike other drone delivery networks, the drones will deliver the goods right to the customer’s door rather than a nearby depot or pick-up point.
The point of this pilot program is for Walmart to collect valuable data on the customer’s acceptance of a drone delivering goods, the overall experience of getting goods delivered by drone, and if it makes sense to continue delivering groceries by drone.
Tom Ward, senior vice president, customer product, Walmart, said:
At the end of the day, it’s learnings from pilots such as this that will help shape the potential of drone delivery on a larger scale, and true to the vision of our founder, take Walmart beyond where we’ve been.
Ward went on to say that they don’t expect drone deliveries to take off like current delivery methods, but it’s more so that the technology is available and can be experimented with to make it perfect in the future. He also pointed to the autonomous vehicle work Walmart undertook with Gatik, Ford, and Nuro, which allowed all parties involved to gain valuable data and learn how to better do it in the future.
Contactless delivery and efficiency drones have gained more traction than they would have gained before the pandemic.
The drone created by Flytrex is capable of flying at 32 miles per hour and can fly a distance of 3.5 miles and back at an altitude of 230 feet. It can carry up to 6.6 pounds of groceries — around six to eight hamburgers — in winds of up to 18 miles per hour.
You can watch the Walmart delivery drone in action below. Do you see yourself getting your groceries delivered by drone? Or would you rather have a human delivery? We’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.