by Madeleine Hubbard
Walmart has launched a drone delivery service for customers in Florida, Texas and Arizona as the grocery chain expands its delivery operations.
Customers in the Dallas, Phoenix, Tampa and Orlando areas are able to have same-day delivery via drone, Walmart announced earlier this month.
Walmart expanded its partnership with the tech company DroneUp to deliver groceries after previously working together to distribute COVID-19 test kits.
In May, the grocery chain said it would use DroneUp to deliver up to 10 pounds of items within 30 minutes for a $3.99 fee. “Simply put, if it fits safely it flies,” the statement said, in part.
Walmart said at the time its goal was to expand drone delivery to 4 million homes in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah and Virginia by the end of 2023.
The retail giant added that “as we scale our drone infrastructure, we’ll continue to influence the expansion of drone technology and enable other businesses to explore its benefits, too. This means DroneUp will offer local businesses and municipalities aerial drone solutions in areas like insurance, emergency response and real estate. For example, a local construction agency can work with DroneUp to monitor on-site job progress through aerial drone photography.”
Certified pilots will use the drones to deliver the products within FAA guidelines, Walmart said.
The push for drone delivery comes as online grocery shopping has more than doubled since the start of the COVID pandemic, according to an Adobe report.
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Madeleine Hubbard joined Just the News as a fast file reporter after working as an editor at Breitbart News. Hubbard previously served as the special assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also worked at the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which oversees Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and other government media agencies.
Photo “Drone” by Walmart.