Walmart Expands Drone Delivery Service

Tracy Stengel
Photo byJared C. Benedict/Wikimedia Commons

Imagine craving ice cream, a full meal, or needing last-minute supplies for your child’s school project. Then imagine having the items delivered to your door in under 30 minutes. That idea is no longer a fantasy. It could be a reality sooner than you think.

In the last two years, Walmart has made over 10,000 drone deliveries to homes across seven states and 36 stores. Today Walmart announced it is ramping up their capability to make drone delivery available to more customers.

Walmart has partnered with Wing, an on-demand drone delivery provider. Google’s parent company, Alphabet, owns Wing.

In the coming months, the drone delivery service will be available from two stores in the Dallas metro area, making it available to an additional 60,000 homes. Customers need to live approximately 6 miles from a Walmart that offers the service. Currently, Walmart has a network of 11 drone hubs.

Once service is offered in your area, customers can download the Wing app and enter their address to determine whether they are in the drone delivery range. The app may indicate the service is coming soon to your neighborhood. If that’s the case, keep checking back with the app.

In a statement issued today, Prathibha Rajashekhar, SVP Innovation & Automation for Walmart said, “This is an exciting next step for our customers, as it provides even more access to a convenient, innovative — and most importantly — super speedy way to the items they need. The outlook is clear for drone delivery: The sky really is the limit.”

Many people picture drone delivery as having a pilot with a joystick navigating, but these drones are far more sophisticated than you see being piloted by hobbyists. The drones issued from Wing are highly automated. The operators oversee the system from a remote location. They can monitor many drones at the same time. There’s no need to have pilots physically stationed at Walmart stores or customer homes.

In a written announcement today, Shannon Nash, Chief Financial Officer for Wing, said, “Wing drones are reliable, fast, and safe. They cruise at 65 miles per hour and use a tether to gently deliver even delicate items — like a carton of eggs — to very precise locations outside the customer homes in urban and suburban environments.”

Fun fact #1: Wing drones have advanced vision that allows them to navigate their surroundings autonomously. They can troubleshoot their own systems for errors, plan their own routes, and fulfill delivery requests on demand.

Fun fact #2: Wing designs and manufactures their own drones. They make sure the drones meet the highest safety standards of the aviation industry. They have been lab-tested. Wing drones have made over 350,000 commercial deliveries across three continents.

As Walmart’s drone delivery service expands across the entire United States, customers will have the option of having quick and convenient deliveries for groceries, health and beauty products, and a host of household essentials.

Are you excited for Walmart drone delivery to be available in your neighborhood? I’d love to read your opinions in the comments!

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Tracy explores the world with a positive eye, an open heart, and a sprinkling of humor. Without laughter, she would be lost.

Onsted, MI

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