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Zipline and Walmart Begin Drone Delivery

Arkansas Neighborhood to See Automated Air Delivery

Residents of Pea Ridge, Arkansas are set to enjoy Walmart's new on-demand delivery service, with a driver a little out of the ordinary. For those within range of the Neighborhood Market Walmart location, orders for select health and wellness items, and a variety of consumable items, will be delivered by a Zipline drone to their front door. 

After announcing the offering of autonomous delivery in 2020, Walmart and Zipline have been creating a 25-foot platform to act as a miniature airport of sorts, necessary to provide enough room to safely take off and land, as well as house the aircraft and flight operations crew. At full capacity, the system is hoped to service a 50-mile radius. The system is now available for use, for local, eligible customers. Interested parties must place an order through the Zipline app, select from a curated selection of appropriately deliverable goods, and receive the package at their home. 

“Zipline’s autonomous aircraft present an incredible opportunity to offer customers an on-demand delivery option for the items they need now, such as a thermometer, non-prescription medication or an emergency pack of diapers,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president, Last Mile Delivery, Walmart U.S. “Even more, Zipline’s aircraft can help provide immediate access to needed items for both hard-to-reach and at-risk populations, such as rural communities and elderly customers.

By bringing this game-changing technology to the rural community of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, we’re continuing to look for ways to make shopping with Walmart convenient and easy – for everyone.”

Zipline began in 2016 and has logged over 200,000 commercial deliveries of almost 5 million units of medical supplies across the world. Their integration with Walmart's extensive delivery network could make them a potent contender in the market, if they could deploy launch infrastructure throughout the 3,000 stores owned by the company. Walmart has locations within reach of 70% of Americans in delivery reach, whether service is provided by the company proper or 3rd party providers. Continuous expansion of traditional and futuristic methods has been the goal in recent years, with Walmart's new automated truck program opening in Northwest Arkansas only 2 weeks prior. 



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