Walmart has launched a small pilot program to start making deliveries of groceries and household items with drones. The pilot project has been launched from a store in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The multinational retail corporation has joined hands with Flytrex for this purpose. Flytrex is an Israeli-based firm that has been planning to use drones for delivering prepared food from a shopping center in Holly Springs. According to Flytrex, it is still trying to work out regulatory issues related to the project in Holly Springs. However, the company is hopeful that it will start delivering prepared food by the end of the year.
Walmart said it will use the experience of Flytrex in Fayetteville to understand how employees and customers adapt to drone deliveries. Walmart’s vice president for customer products Tom Ward said that it will take them some time before they start delivering millions of packages via drone. “That still sounds like we are talking about a science fiction movie, but we’re at a position where the company is learning more and more about the technology that is available and trying to understand how it can be used to make our customers’ lives easier,” Ward said.
Walmart has strategically chosen its store on Strickland Bridge Road to offer drone deliveries as there are several neighborhoods in the area where deliveries could take place. Customers can download the Flytrex app if they are interested in getting delivery via drone in the area. Each of these drones can fly at a speed of 32 mph. They can cover a distance of 6.2 miles on a round trip and can lift a weight of up to 6.6 pounds. A demo video showed that the drone is loaded on the ground but it doesn’t land while delivering the product. Flytrex received permission to use drones for delivering foods in North Carolina in 2019. But it can only fly drones on predetermined routes during the day time and that too over unpopulated areas.