Walmart has announced that it is testing drone delivery. Israeli startup Flytrex Aviation is providing the drones, which can fly 6.2 miles carrying packages up to 6.6 pounds. The tests will take place in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
The pilot program comes on the heels of an announcement by Amazon at the end of August that it had received its air carrier designation from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), allowing it to begin its own trial program in the U.S.
Both retailers have a long way to go before their respective drone programs become a nationwide commercial delivery system, and they know it. But there is little doubt that the race for drone delivery is on, and with the pandemic pushing more shoppers toward online orders and home delivery, the stakes are higher than ever.
“We know that it will be some time before we see millions of packages delivered via drone,” Tom Ward, Walmart’s senior vice president of customer products, said in a blog post.