Walmart, 7-Eleven, and Chick-fil-A Pilot Revolutionary Drone Delivery Technology

, 7-Eleven, and Chick-fil-A are set to pilot a new drone delivery technology from , a -based startup, reports Axios. The technology aims to solve the ground logistics problems associated with drone delivery, making it more accessible and cost-effective for retailers of all sizes.

DroneUp Unveils Autonomous Drone Ecosystem

DroneUp, partially owned by Walmart, has introduced a proprietary autonomous drone “ecosystem” that CEO Tom Walker believes will revolutionize last-mile logistics. The system includes:

  • DBX: An automated, climate-controlled storage locker for drone package pickup and drop-off
  • Advanced software enabling “end-to-end autonomy” for drones
  • A new drone capable of traveling 60 mph, with a 30-mile range and a 10-pound payload capacity

CEO Tom Walker states, “When we put in a DBX, all that labor cost comes out. So overnight, my delivery cost goes from $38 to sub-$10. I'm now competitive with every other last-mile provider, but I'm faster and more reliable.”

Walmart, 7-Eleven, And Chick-Fil-A Pilot Revolutionary Drone Delivery Technology 2

How the DroneUp System Works

  1. Retailers affix a barcode label to a customer's order
  2. Workers scan the barcode to open the DBX locker and place the package inside
  3. Robotic equipment weighs the package, checks the center of gravity, and places it on a shelf
  4. A drone is automatically dispatched to pick up the package from the DBX
  5. The robot inside the DBX auto-loads the package into the drone using a patented winch
  6. The drone flies to the delivery destination

Expanding Drone Delivery Access

The DBX can serve as a delivery hub on college campuses or in cities, making drone delivery possible for people in harder-to-reach areas. Customers can securely receive packages in the climate-controlled locker and use a code or CLEAR's verification system to unlock it. The DBX also enables shoppers to return orders via drone.

Walker emphasizes the democratization of airspace, stating, “You could be Joe's Tailor Shop and you can have access to this for the same price that a Walmart has access to it. All you have to do is print out the barcode and put the barcode on the package.”

DroneUp's innovative technology is set to transform the landscape of drone delivery, making it more accessible, cost-effective, and efficient for retailers and customers alike. By addressing both the ground logistics and aerial aspects of drone delivery, the company is poised to revolutionize last-mile logistics. The rollout of the DBX ecosystem in select markets, starting this year, marks an exciting development in the world of drone delivery.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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