Walmart plans drone delivery network encompassing entire Dallas Fort-Worth metroplex

Walmart is offering drone delivery for up to 75% of the Dallas Fort-Worth metroplex, says the US retailer.

According to Walmart:

“Our drone delivery expansion includes stores across more than 30 towns and municipalities in the DFW metroplex, marking the first time a U.S. retailer has offered drone delivery to this many households in a single market. The deliveries will be powered by on-demand drone delivery providers, Wing and Zipline. Both are approved by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) to fly their drones without a dedicated observer being able to see the drone at all times, known as Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS), which will enable drone delivery to more Texans than ever before.

“Drone delivery gives customers an even faster delivery option, getting items to them in 30 minutes or less and some deliveries can happen as fast as 10 minutes. This is an addition to other speedy delivery methods like Express Delivery in three hours or less, Late-Night Delivery until 10 p.m. and InHome – with an option for delivery directly to a customer’s refrigerator.

“Over the last two years trialling drone delivery, we’ve completed over 20,000 safe deliveries. Walmart has seen customers use our drone service for many reasons. This includes when they need an item in a pinch, like a forgotten ingredient or over the counter cold medicine, or simply because it’s convenient. Some of the most popular items ordered include snacks and beverages, satisfying an afternoon sweet tooth or caffeine craving. Drones can also deliver several items at a time, such as supplies for a movie night at home, a last-minute birthday gift or ingredients for baking cookies, including fragile items like eggs.

The delivery radius for stores offering the service will be up to 10 miles.

“Our first few months delivering to Walmart customers have made it clear: Demand for drone delivery is real,” said Wing CEO Adam Woodworth. “The response has been incredible from customers ordering drone delivery from Walmart every day, and it’s a testament to our partnership that we’re now expanding our footprint to bring this innovative delivery option to millions of Texans. If this milestone is any indication, we believe 2024 is the year of drone delivery.”

“Autonomous delivery is finally ready for national scale in the U.S. Zipline is excited to enable Walmart’s vision of providing customer delivery so fast it feels like teleportation,” said Keller Rinaudo Cliffton, co-founder and CEO of Zipline. “Walmart is leading the U.S. in using robotics and AI to help people save money and live better. We’re excited for folks across Dallas-Fort Worth to experience delivery that is 7x as fast, zero emissions and whisper quiet with our next-generation technology.”

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