If you live in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah, or Virginia, your recent online Walmart order may have been delivered to your home by a drone. In May, Walmart announced that it completed hundreds of drone deliveries. By this time next year, Walmart hopes to complete over a million drone home deliveries in these states.
In the May press release, Walmart announced that its drone delivery program was made possible through its partnership with DroneUp, a company that offers drone flight services through a network of single pilots and pilot organizations. Through close consultation with DroneUp, Walmart is now able to deliver packages weighing less than 10 pounds, in as little as 30 minutes, between the hours of 8am and 8pm. While Walmart believed most customers would use its drone-delivery service for “emergency items,” it turns out that the top selling item in one hub location is Hamburger Helper.
This demonstrates that consumers quickly become comfortable using drone delivery service for all kinds of goods, including food and everyday household items.
According to recent press releases, Walmart’s delivery process is as follows: a DroneUp delivery hub, with a team of certified drone pilots, is tasked with the safe delivery of packages within the confines of FAA guidelines. When a customer places an order, the item is fulfilled from the store, packaged, loaded into the drone, and delivered to the customer’s home using a cable that gently lowers the package to the ground.