Walmart invests in DroneUp on-demand drone delivery provider
US retail giant Walmart has invested in drone services provider Droneup after launching trial deliveries of at-home Covid-19 self-collection kits last year.
The move is part of its ongoing efforts to give customers “the items they want, and fast” and will continue its work in developing a scalable last-mile delivery solution for the business.
Walmart said the trial of deliveries of at-home Covid-19 self-collection kits had demonstrated that customers could be offered delivery in minutes rather hours.
DroneUp operates an on-demand drone delivery network that matches its database of more than 10,000 Federal Aviation Administration certified pilots to missions nationwide. The company was the first operator to use the FAA 107.39 waiver, an operation that allows delivery flights to be conducted over people and moving vehicles. DroneUp operates commercially throughout the US and is an authorised government drone services provider for 11 US states serving public sector organisations.
John Furner, chief executive and president of Walmart US, said: “Walmart already has a significant part of the infrastructure in place – 4,700 stores stocked with more than 100,000 of the most-purchased items, located within 10 miles of 90% of the US population. This makes us uniquely positioned to execute drone deliveries, which is why our investment in DroneUp won’t just apply to the skies but also the ground. In the coming months we’ll be beginning our first operation at a store in Bentonville, Arkansas.”
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