Walgreens will become the first US company to offer on-demand drone delivery service amid a partnership with Google’s Wing programme next month.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company which became first company to secure approval from the US authorities to begin making drone deliveries in April, will begin carrying out deliveries on behalf of Walgreens in Christiansburg, Virginia.
Wing Aviation will deliver food, beverages and over-the-counter medications to Walgreens customers within minutes.
“Walgreens continues to explore partnerships to transform and modernize our customer experience and we are proud to be the first retailer in the U.S. to offer an on-demand commercial drone delivery option with Wing,” Walgreen’s chief innovation officer Vish Sankaran said.
An estimated 78 per cent of US citizens live within five miles of a Walgreens store, meaning they are potentially in range of a Wing delivery drone should its programme be rolled out more widely, though no indication has yet been given about when this might happen.
Customers will be able to choose from over 100 individual products, or packs of curated products during the trial.
Wing is launching a second trial with delivery giant FedEx, it announced yesterday.
Wing’s chief executive James Burgess added: “We still have a ways to go before (drones are) the norm in our transportation networks and so on.
“There’s a lot of sensitivity and concern about the technology, and we’re engaging with partners like Walgreens and FedEx to learn and get feedback.”