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Walmart extends drone delivery service to more US states


Walmart, the largest retailer in the US and one of the biggest suppliers of fishing tackle in the country, is expanding its drone delivery service.

The business, which has 4,700 stores in the US, has announced that its delivery service, in collaboration with DroneUp, is now available in Arizona, Florida and Texas. It has already been serving the states of Arkansas, Utah and Virginia. The latest launch is part of a wider plan to build the capacity to deliver one million packages per year by drone.

The drones can deliver more than 10,000 eligible Walmart items weighing up to 10lbs, including fragile ones like eggs, in as little as 30 minutes. There are no order minimums and the delivery fee is $3.99.

“Drone delivery makes it possible for our customers to shop for those last minute or forgotten items with ease in a package that is, frankly, cool,” said Vik Gopalakrishnan, Walmart US Vice President of Innovation and Automation.

Companies throughout the US are looking to advance drones as a more efficient method to quickly deliver lightweight payloads. However, the method is not without its challenges, including regulatory hurdles and technological limitations. Walmart, which has made a strategic investment in DroneUp, aims to break through those barriers.

The two companies tout Walmart’s significant physical footprint of more than 4,700 US stores that will allow it to reach a large portion of the population within a drone’s range. Walmart says it has already made thousands of same-day drone deliveries to date.

DroneUp deliveries use a team of certified pilots operating within Federal Aviation Administration guidelines to manage flight operations. To complete the delivery, the drones use a cable that lowers the payload into the safest location of the customer’s home, like a yard or driveway. The DroneUp Delivery website warns that services may temporarily be unavailable if strong winds or other inclement weather is prevailing.

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