Walmart testing on-demand drone delivery

Walmart continues to look for ways to enhance and speed up on-demand delivery.

The retail giant announced a pilot program with end-to-end drone delivery company Flytrex to deliver select grocery and household essentials from Walmart stores using automated drones. The pilot launched Sept. 9, in Fayetteville, N.C.

Other retailers, including CVS Health, have also been testing drone delivery. Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Amazon approval to use Prime Air drones to “safely and efficiently deliver packages to customers.

The Flytrex drones, which are controlled via the cloud using a smart and easy control dashboard, will help Walmart gain valuable insight into the customer and employee experience, from picking and packing to takeoff and delivery, the retailer said.

“We know that it will be some time before we see millions of packages delivered via drone,” said Tom Ward, senior VP, customer product, Walmart. “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. At the end of the day, it’s learnings from pilots such as this that will help shape the potential of drone delivery on a larger scale and, true to the vision of our founder, take Walmart beyond where we’ve been.”

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