Dec 16, 2022 - Technology

Millions of Americans can now order Walmart drone deliveries

A Walmart drone flies over a parking lot.

Photo courtesy Walmart

Walmart's drone delivery service is now available in the Tampa, Orlando, Phoenix and Dallas areas, the company announced Thursday.

Why it matters: Close-range drone shipping was seen as a pie-in-the-sky concept just a few years ago. Now it's reality for the millions of Americans in range of a participating store.

How it works: Shoppers near one of Walmart's planned 34 drone sites can order up to 10 lbs. of eligible goods for aerial delivery within 30 minutes.

  • "Once a customer places an order, the item is fulfilled from the store, packaged, loaded into the drone and delivered right to their yard using a cable that gently lowers the package," reads a Walmart release.
  • The company is working with drone services startup DroneUp, which uses FAA-certified drone pilots to fly its retail sorties.

The big picture: "The race to bring drone delivery to U.S. households is shaping up as a battle of titans," as Joann reported back in May, with Amazon, UPS and others also working on the tech.

What we're watching: Whether problems present themselves as drone delivery gets more popular.

  • Fleets of delivery drones constantly buzzing overhead could get annoying — but maybe we'd be better off with them instead of gas-guzzling trucks.
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