Fayetteville To Become New Test Site For Drone Delivery Services
This past Wednesday, Walmart announced that Fayetteville, North Carolina will become the new test site for drone delivery service. The new beta test for drone delivery service is in partnership with Flytrex, an existing end-to-end drone delivery provider. The program will begin Wednesday with a primary focus on delivering essential items and groceries to those in need.
Walmart plans to explore on-demand delivery services with drones controlled via the cloud and a dashboard system. Previously, Walmart attempted automated delivery via driverless vehicles, but has never utilized drones as their primary delivery method.
Senior Vice President of the Consumer Product team at Walmart, Tom Ward, shared his thoughts about the drone in a blog post. “We know that it will be some time before we see millions of packages delivered via drone,” he wrote. “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.”
What it means
Walmart chose Flytrex as a partner due to the fact that the company previously worked with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to “standardize backyard drone delivery service.” Flytrex is also a part of the Federal Aviation Administration UAS Integration Pilot Program.
Walmart recognizes where the future of product delivery is headed. With companies like Amazon offering two-day Prime delivery, same-day delivery is the next inevitable step. Amazon was also recently granted approval from the FAA to move forward with its drone delivery service initiative while UPS also received similar certification.
Ward also shared his thoughts on the future of Walmart’s delivery services. “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,” he explained.
Since the announcement, Walmart stock has risen significantly. With the world experiencing an unprecedented surge of deliveries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, drone delivery services are well timed.
What to expect
As more and more companies begin to test out drone delivery services to optimize their logistics, it will be interesting to see how the future of product delivery continues to develop in the future. Amidst the current state of COVID-19, one can easily see how contactless drone delivery will make the world a safer and more reliable place for everyone.
While waiting for more news to be released about Walmart’s new drone delivery service, it is exciting to see so many companies take a drastic leap forward into the future. There are still many details to be worked out, but the inception of trial and error stages are promising.