Walmart is taking to the skies for its new delivery option. It will be piloting a new drone delivery initiative with Flytrex, an end-to-end drone delivery company.
The new drone delivery project was launched on Sept. 9 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. According to Walmart senior vice president of customer product Tom Ward, the drone delivery service will focus on grocery and household essential items.
Flytrex’s automated drones will be used to pick up, pack and delivery the items. Ward wrote in a blog post that the drones are controlled via a dashboard over the cloud.
This project is designed as a learning opportunity, with Ward saying that it would “help shape the potential of drone delivery on a larger scale,” but he admitted that it would take time before drone delivery becomes feasible at a broader scale.
“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, but 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.
Flytrex drones are capable of reaching speeds of 32 miles per hour when unimpeded by traffic. Once at a destination, the drones lower packages, which are fastened to it, through a wire release mechanism from 80 feet.
Flytrex participates in the Federal Aviation Administration UAS Integration Pilot Program, according to the company’s website and has worked with the North Carolina Transportation Authority to “standardize backyard drone delivery.”