Walmart made more than 6,000 drone deliveries last year from seven states where the service is available, the company said Monday.
Walmart says that once an order is placed, the drone can deliver the item within 30 minutes.
Vik Gopalakrishnan, vice president of innovation and automation at Walmart, said:we
Gopalakrishnan said the company has received positive feedback from customers and expects to make more progress this year.
Walmart did not immediately respond to inquiries about the company’s goal of increasing deliveries and adding delivery hubs in more states this year.
Walmart said in a news release on Monday that it now has 36 stores serving as drone delivery hubs. These are in Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia. Texas has 11 locations, more than any other state.
Arkansas has four hubs, one each in Farmington and Pea Ridge. Rogers and the Bentonville store opened his July.
The Farmington Neighborhood Market has become the Bentonville-based retailer’s first drone delivery hub, opening in November 2021. Walmart has teamed up with DroneUp LLC in its location, using Pee Ridge’s Zipline tower-launched drone.
Walmart announced in May that it would start using DroneUp for deliveries in Phoenix. Orlando and Tampa, Florida. Salt Lake City; Walmart said at the time that the expansion would make drone deliveries available to about 4 million more households.
Besides DroneUp and San Francisco-based Zipline, Walmart uses Israeli drone maker Flytrex.
But in 2020, Walmart first partnered with Virginia Beach, Virginia’s DroneUp to try to deliver covid-19 at-home test kits. Walmart said the trial showed that the drone could deliver orders to customers in minutes instead of hours.
Walmart US announced the following June that it was investing in DroneUp as part of an effort to develop a scalable last-mile delivery option.
Other retailers are using drone deliveries, though not on the scale of Walmart.
Google parent company Alphabet’s Wing drone launched its first commercial delivery service in the United States on April 7, said Wing’s Adam Woodworth. Wing offers health and wellness products to Walgreens in his two cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.
“This is an important milestone for Wing and Drone deliveries in the United States,” said Woodworth.
Based in Silicon Valley, Wing operates primarily in Australia. However, since 2021, it has been testing delivery services in Virginia and Texas in the United States.
Wing added several other retail clients last year, including Blue Bell Creameries, an ice cream maker in central Texas. and easyvet prescription pet medicine. We also offer First Aid Kits for Texas Health, a non-profit religious health care system.
Amazon was a latecomer to the drone delivery market, starting last month in two cities: Rockford, Northern California, and College Station, Texas.
Unlike Walmart and other retailers working with incumbent drone companies, Amazon’s Prime Air division designed and built its own drones, the company said in a blog post.
The process took nearly a decade, and “a team of safety, aerospace, scientific, robotics, software, hardware, testing and manufacturing experts ensured our systems met the rigor required for aerospace products.” We are working to make sure it is,” the company said in a blog post. .”