Walmart announced on Thursday an investment in nationwide drone services provider DroneUp to continue towards developing scalable last mile delivery solutions. The amount was undisclosed.
The investment follows a pilot project, which included the trial deliveries of at-home Covid-19 self-collection kits. The trial demonstrated Walmart could offer customers delivery in minutes versus hours. Now, after safely completing hundreds of drone deliveries from Walmart stores, the company said it is ready to develop a scalable last-mile delivery solution.
“In our ongoing effort to get customers the items they want – and fast – we know it will take a well-coordinated network of delivery solutions that span the streets, sidewalks and skies,” said John Furner, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. “Some of these solutions are still emerging but they’re already showing encouraging results.”
DroneUp currently operates commercially throughout the U.S. and is an authorized government drone services provider for 11 U.S. states serving public sector organizations. Since partnering with DroneUp last year, Walmart saw first hand its technological expertise, world-class operations and experienced management team, as well as its commitment to helping the FAA ensure the highest levels of safety with every delivery.
Walmart already has a significant part of the infrastructure necessary for drone delivery in place, including 4,700 stores stocked with more than 100,000 of the most-purchased items, located within 10 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population.