Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) disclosed Wednesday it has decided to start a pilot project for the delivery of grocery and household products through automated drones. Walmart has earlier announced that it has secured the approval of the Federal Aviation Administration to operate the Prime Air delivery drones. Just a week after it planned to test its own drone delivery service.
Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart revealed that the test would start in Fayetteville, North Carolina. During the test, the cloud-controlled drones will pick up and drop off the selected products. Walmart always strived to bring new innovations and change the old processes. Walmart has partnered with an Israeli startup Flytrex which is an end-to-end drone delivery company.
This pilot program will take some time before the company saw millions of packages delivered via drone. Walmart aimed to make the lives of its customers easier. The drone will fly at speeds of 32 mph, travel distances of 6.2 miles in a round trip, and carry up to 6.6 pounds.
Walmart has sped up this pilot program because of the coronavirus pandemic as the customers who are cautious because of the virus will receive their products at their doorsteps. This new program looks especially attractive in the pandemic period. Walmart has earlier partnered with Ford Motor Co and self-driving vehicle startups Gatik and Nuro to deliver products through autonomous vehicles.
Shares of Walmart Inc soared 1.04% as it gain+1.44 at $139.89 during the trading session of Wednesday. In the past 52-weeks of trading, this company’s stock has fluctuated between the low of $102.00 and a high of $151.33. It has traded up 27.15% from its 52-weeks low and traded down -7.56% from its 52-weeks high. Looking at its liquidity, it has a current ratio of 0.80. The market capitalization of Walmart has remained high, hitting $401.16 billion.
Walmart has been working on this drone delivery service for many years, making its first test back in 2015. But many factors such as safety regulations and high costs compared to traditional delivery, have slowed down the implementation of this new program.