Walmart has launched a pilot program using automated drones to deliver grocery and household items to consumers.
“Our latest initiative has us exploring how drones can deliver items in a way that’s convenient, safe, and – you guessed it – fast,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president of customer product for Walmart. “…we’re taking the next step in our exploration of on-demand delivery by announcing a new pilot with Flytrex, an end-to-end drone delivery company.”
The pilot launched recently in Fayetteville, NC, and focuses on delivering select grocery and household essential items from Walmart stores using Flytrex’s automated drones. The drones, which are controlled over the cloud using a smart and easy control dashboard, will help the company gain valuable insight into the customer and associate experience, from picking and packing to takeoff and delivery.
“We know that it will be some time before we see millions of packages delivered via drone,” said Ward. “That still feels like a bit of science fiction, but we’re at a point where we’re learning more and more about the technology that is available and how we can use it to make our customers’ lives easier. Take for example our autonomous vehicle work with Gatik, Ford and Nuro – we’ve gained loads of valuable insight into how autonomous vehicles fit within our business.”
The company 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.