(Image Source: The Verge)
Retail giant Walmart has partnered with delivery company Zipline to pilot drone delivery service for its customers. It is currently available to those living within a 50-mile radius of Walmart’s Arkansas headquarters. Both parties hope to expand this distance to launch the service nationwide in the near future.
For now, the service is free as the companies are collecting data and feedback to assess the demand for it. Once an order comes through, the staff will pack the items in a specially designed box with a parachute. The next step is loading the package into the payload bay before the drone is carefully fitted with a battery. Once the inspection is done, the vessel is finally launched for delivery.
This initiative is highly anticipated by everyone. “It’s unbelievably exciting, we’ve been working towards this day for many many years,” said Liam O’Connor, Chief Operating Officer at Zipline. “For us the promise of ultrafast delivery is really to give access to all kinds of communities to all kinds of products.”
Similarly, the team at Walmart has expressed their enthusiasm about this partnership. “If our customers enjoy the service we’ll scale it so in future holidays this is probably going to play a really great part in getting things in a hurry,” said Tom Ward, Senior Vice President of Last Mile delivery operations at Walmart.