Walmart has started testing delivery drones in Fayetteville, North Carolina in an effort to keep up with Amazon, whose subsidiary Amazon Prime Air recently received FAA-approval to deliver packages by drone under their Part 135 certification.
Walmart tests delivery drones in an effort to keep up with Amazon
Walmart is seemingly going all out to keep up with Amazon. The world’s largest retailer has started testing delivery drones in Fayetteville, North Carolina. This news follows the recent announcement of Amazon that its subsidiary Amazon Prime Air had received a Part-135 certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that allows it to deliver packages by drone to consumers around the country.
According to Bloomberg, Walmart will start with testing the delivery by drone of grocery and household items from its stores in Fayetteville. The unmanned aircraft that will be flying the packages are automated drones from startup Flytrex Aviation Ltd. These drones can fly about 6.2 miles while carrying packages weighing up to 6.6 pounds.
Apart from trying to keep up with Amazon with drone delivery services, Walmart will also be launching a service similar to the Amazon Prime subscription. It will be called Walmart+ and will start on September 15th for $98 per year.
The two companies have both gained millions of new customers during the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg reports. Now they are looking for ways to deliver groceries and other items to people’s homes in the most convenient way.
“We know that it will be some time before we see millions of packages delivered via drone,” Tom Ward, Walmart’s senior vice president of customer products, said in a blog post. “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.”
During an investor meeting in October 2017, Walmart mentioned for the first time that it was testing drones to help manage inventory in some of its Sam’s Club warehouse locations.
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