Walmart and Zipline Group As much as Carry First-of-Its Variety Drone Supply Service to the USA – Drones Information
Posted by Tom Ward, Senior Vice President, Customer Product, Walmart
Customers are busier than ever, which is why we find new ways every day to make their lives easier. At the same time, based on our innovation history laid by our founder Sam Walton, we are committed to learning how new technologies can better serve customers.
We recently announced that we were investigating how drones could deliver items in a convenient, safe and fast way. In our latest initiative, we are launching a unique drone delivery operation in the USA together with Zipline. With the new service, selected health and wellness products will be delivered on demand, with the potential to expand to general goods.
Trial deliveries are being made near the Walmart headquarters here in northwest Arkansas using Zipline’s proprietary technology which, quite simply, is really cool.
Operated from a Walmart store, Zipline can service a 50 mile radius, which is roughly the size of the state of Connecticut. The start and release system not only enables fast delivery if required in less than an hour, it also eliminates CO2 emissions, which fits perfectly with our sustainability goals. The operation is expected to begin early next year. If it is successful we will try to expand it.
Zipline, which operates the world’s largest network for the delivery of drones, went live in Rwanda in late 2016 and has primarily focused on delivering medical supplies on-demand. To date, they have safely shipped more than 200,000 critical medical products to thousands of healthcare facilities that serve more than 20 million people in multiple countries. This clearly positions them for national level operations in the United States.
As we continue to build on the innovation foundation that Mr. Sam laid for us, we will continue to explore and learn what the next best technology is and how we can use it to better serve our customers now and in the future.