BENTONVILLE, Ark.—Santa’s sleigh may not be the only thing seen flying in the skies of Texas—Walmart’s drone delivery service is now available for select customers in the Dallas area. The new delivery option will be fulfilled from 11 stores, making it easier than ever for customers to grab those last-minute gifts, no assistance from Rudolph needed.
This marks the first time customers in Texas can take advantage of Walmart’s drone delivery, following the retailer’s earlier announcement of plans to expand its DroneUp network to reach four million additional households across six states, including Texas. From last-minute meal solutions to a package of Christmas cookies, Walmart has successfully executed thousands of same-day drone deliveries to date.
“Drone delivery makes it possible for our customers to shop those last-minute or forgotten items with ease, in a package that’s frankly really cool. Being on the forefront of that innovation at Walmart is something we’re proud of,” said Vik Gopalakrishnan, vice president, innovation and automation, Walmart U.S. “It may seem like a futuristic option, but it’s giving our customers what they’ve always wanted, and that’s time back to focus on what is most important to them.”
Customers living within a mile of a participating store can place orders through droneupdelivery.com between the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. local time. Drones can deliver more than 10,000 eligible Walmart items up to 10 pounds, including fragile items like eggs, in as little as 30 minutes. There are no order minimums and the delivery fee is just $3.99. With use of promo code FreeDeliveryTX, customers using drone delivery for the first time will have the delivery fee waived. Once the items are packaged and loaded into the drone, the order is then delivered using a cable that gently lowers the package into the customer’s yard.
In partnership with DroneUp, Walmart will offer drone delivery in five other states in addition to Texas by the end of the year, including: Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Utah and Virginia. In total, there will be 34 stores making drone delivery available in 23 cities nationwide by year end.
“Our mission is to set the gold standard for drone delivery and by partnering with Walmart, bring the incredible benefits that drones offer to local communities, organizations, and businesses,” said Tom Walker, CEO of DroneUp. “Our approach is unique; we practice safety above all else and incorporate state-of-the-art technology. Our strong relationship with the FAA has also been critical to our success as we build an infrastructure that supports growth and great career programs for operators now and in the future.”
DroneUp deliveries are powered by a team of certified pilots operating within FAA guidelines to safely manage flight operations. Deliveries will be made to the safest location of the customer’s home, such as in the front or backyard or driveway. Customers can check if drone delivery is available to their homes by visiting www.droneupdelivery.com.
Article originally published on insideunmannedsystems.com as Walmart’s Drone Delivery Takes Flight in Texas with DroneUp