Walmart has ramped up its “last mile delivery solutions” with an investment in Drone company DroneUp in order to keep up with ecommerce giant Amazon.
The US retailer has trialled a range of different delivery ideas included everything from autonomous electric cars to sales staff delivering orders to customers on their routes home from work after being given incentives.
“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,” Walmart chief executive John Furner told Forbes.
“Some of these solutions are still emerging but they’re already showing encouraging results.”
Walmart launched a trial with DroneUp to delivery Covid-19 testing kits to consumers in their homes last year.
The trial was launched in order to demonstrate that the company was able to offer order deliveries in a matter of minutes instead of hours.
“Now, after safely completing hundreds of drone deliveries from Walmart stores, we’re making an investment in DroneUp to continue our work toward developing a scalable last mile delivery solution,” Furner added.
DroneUp is an on-demand drone delivery service that boasts a catalogue of over 10,000 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certified pilots.
According to Furner the drone company is a “well-respected industry innovator” and Walmart has been impressed with DroneUp’s technological expertise and commitment to helping the FAA ensure all flights are made with the highest degree of safety.
DroneUp is an authorised government drone services provider for 11 US states which serve public sector organisations.
The company’s chief executive Tom Walker said: “The drone services industry has reached an inflection point of rapidly increased adoption and acceptance.”
Watch Charged’s documentary on drones in the retail space here.