Walmart expands its drone delivery network to 34 locations by the end of the year

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A drone developed for Walmart is ready for launch. The company announced on Tuesday that it will expand its drone service to 34 locations in six states by the end of 2022. Photo courtesy of Walmart

May 24 (UPI) — Retail giant Walmart announced on Tuesday that it will expand its DroneUP delivery network to 34 locations by the end of the year.

The service is expected to reach 4 million US homes in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah and Virginia, the company said in a statement.

“This gives us the potential to deliver over one million packages by drone in one year,” Walmart said in a blog post, adding that the drones will operate between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and allow customers to order from dozens of thousands of eligible items. .

Walmart stores that participate in the service will house a DroneUp delivery center that includes “a team of certified pilots, operating under FAA guidelines, who safely manage flight operations for deliveries,” according to David Guggina, vice-president. senior president of innovation and society. automating.

Once a customer places an order, the item is shipped from the store, packed, loaded into the drone, and delivered directly to their backyard using a cable that gently lowers the package.

The company launched its drone service in November near its headquarters in Arkansas.

In 2020, Walmart announced a partnership with three companies, including DroneUp, to develop “convenient, safe, and fast” drones.

Walmart is one of many companies that have implemented drone deliveries. Samsung Electronics launched its drone service in Ireland in 2021. And, in 2020, Amazon received Federal Aviation Administration approval to begin commercial drone deliveries. But Amazon has struggled to get its drone service off the ground.

According to Business Insider, the company experienced at least eight drone crashes during testing in 2021 and 2022 and tried to block federal investigators from investigating them.

FAA regulation of commercial drone flights began in the summer of 2016.

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