Residents of Northwest Arkansas are first to experience – what could be a big step towards a high-tech future – a drone delivery service provided by Walmart.
Back in 2013, when Amazon first revealed its plan for Amazon Prime Air, a ‘part helicopter, part airplane’ drone, the whole world was left in awe. But unfortunately, Amazon has “repeatedly failed to meet its own deadlines to launch a drone delivery service,” according to BNN Bloomberg reports.
Also, in October 2021, WIRED reported, “Over 100 employees at Amazon Prime Air have lost their jobs and dozens of other roles are moving to other projects.”
Some of the employees reported to the WIRED the project to be “collapsing inwards” “dysfunctional” and an “organized chaos.”
Whereas, an American multinational retail corporation; Walmart, has launched a drone delivery service for customers residing within a 50-mile radius of its headquarters in Northern Arkansas.
In an article published on September 14, 2020, Walmart stated, “As of November 18, 2021, Walmart and Zipline launched their on-demand delivery service of select health and wellness and consumable items from the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Pea Ridge, Ark.”
Adding, “Customers today are busier than ever, which is why every day we’re finding new ways to make their lives easier.”
Zipline has been designing, manufacturing, and operating delivery drones since 2014 for the purpose of delivering medical products. The company has opened distribution centers in many parts of the world.
According to Wikipedia, the drone used by Zipline, cruises at about 101 km/h (63 mph), and around 80-120 meters (260-390 ft) high above the ground. It guarantees to deliver within 45 mins. The drone can lift up to 1.75 Kg (3.9 Ib) of cargo. Every distribution center is capable of delivering up to 500 packages per day. As of February 2021, its drones have flown more than 4,000,000 miles and made nearly 400,000 deliveries in the last five years.
According to CBS, after receiving an online order, products are placed inside a specially designed box with a parachute attached to it. Then, the packages are scanned and loaded on a drone. Before inspecting for launch, a battery is installed in the drone. A 25-foot platform is built especially for the drone. The drone drops off the package at the customer’s home and returns to the launch location. Customers are also able to track their orders on the Zipline app.
Both companies have the ambition to expand the delivery territory across the US nation.