Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) the largest global retailer, announced Wednesday, it will be testing the delivery of grocery and household goods through programmed drones in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Having partnered up with delivery firm Flytrex, for the project, the retailer anticipates to grow its distribution business. Cloud-controlled drones are set to start picking up and dropping off the chosen items.
According to Walmart’s Senior Vice President for Consumer Product, Tom Ward, the drones are managed through the cloud using a dashboard.
“We know that it will be some time before we see millions of packages delivered via drone. That still feels like a bit of science fiction,” Ward said in a statement.
The initiative aims to expand Walmart’s on-demand delivery, Ward revealed in a release. Walmart has previously teamed up with Ford, Gatik and Nuro and even managed to test autonomous grocery delivery via driverless vehicles.
“We’re at a point where we’re learning more and more about the technology that is available and how we can use it to make our customers’ lives easier.”Ward said in the post.
Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, Walmart has worked to fast track the growth of its pick-up and delivery services for those consumers cautious to enter a public store. After the retailers U.S. online sales doubled in the second quarter, it is betting more on out of store shopping methods.
Flytrex, who is associated with the Federal Aviation Administration UAS Integration Pilot Program, has worked with the North Carolina Department of Transportation in the past to “standardize backyard drone delivery,” as stated on its website.
“At the end of the day, it’s learnings from pilots such as this that will help shape the potential of drone delivery on a larger scale and, true to the vision of our founder, take Walmart beyond where we’ve been,” Ward said in the blog post.