Walmart has announced that it will be expanding its DroneUp delivery network to 34 sites by the end the year, providing the potential to reach 4 million US households across six states – Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah and Virginia. This the company says will create the ability to deliver over 1 million packages by drone in a year.
“Between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.,” says the press release “customers will be able to order from tens of thousands of eligible items, such as Tylenol, diapers and hot dog buns, for delivery by air in as little as 30 minutes. For a delivery fee of $3.99, customers can order items totalling up to 10 pounds.”
Walmart reports that after “completing hundreds of deliveries within a matter of months across existing DroneUp hubs, it has seen first-hand how drones can offer customers a practical solution for getting certain items, fast.” The company also reports “a positive response from customers that have used the service” and that while it “initially thought customers would use the service for emergency items, it has been finding they use it for sheer convenience, like a quick fix for a weeknight meal. Case in point: The top-selling item at one of our current hubs is Hamburger Helper.”
In addition the company says “Participating stores will house a DroneUp delivery hub inclusive of a team of certified pilots, operating within FAA guidelines, that safely manage flight operations for deliveries. Once a customer places an order, the item is fulfilled from the store, packaged, loaded into the drone and delivered right to their yard using a cable that gently lowers the package.”
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