Walmart began its pilot drone delivery program in the US, starting in the city of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Initially, only essential foods and products will be part of the list of items that can be delivered in this mode.
For the pilot program, Walmart recruited drone maker Flytrex. Its equipment is capable of reaching a maximum speed of 51 km / h at up to 70 meters in height, and can carry loads of up to 3 kg (six to eight hamburgers, according to the retailer) over a maximum distance of 5.5 km.
In order for the delivery of packages to be safer and quieter for customers, the drones will remain on top, and will release the cargo through a system that uses a 25 meter cable, to leave the product on the floor, inside the box where it is stored.
Drones, however, will not be able to fly if it is raining or if the weather has gusts above 29 km / h.
From fiction to everyday life
Walmart’s senior vice president of customer products, Tom Ward, said that drone deliveries still refer us to science fiction works, but that the company has explored available technologies to make its customers’ daily lives easier.
Ward also stated that it will take time before all types of products sold by the company can be delivered to all of its customers. This depends not only on the acquisition of thousands of new drones, but on the evolution of the equipment itself, which, in the future, should fly faster, further and with heavier loads.
Meanwhile, another company that received endorsement from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry out air deliveries, was Amazon.
Amazon is developing its own drones, which can fly like a helicopter and like an airplane. They can carry up to 2.26 kilograms of cargo over a maximum distance of 24 kilometers.