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Like Amazon, Walmart also wants to use drones for home delivery

By Shawn Knight
Oct 27, 2015
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  1. Amazon and Walmart have been locked in a battle with each other for several years now. In the near future, the two retailers may be waging war in the skies above… metaphorically speaking, of course.

    The big box retailer recently requested permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to test drones that would deliver purchased goods to shoppers. Walmart also wants to use drones for curbside pickup and outdoor inventory checks using electronic tagging. The company has been using drones indoors for some time now, Reuters reports.

    Rather than develop its own drones, Walmart plans to use existing models from popular Chinese manufacturer DJI.

    Drone delivery for commercial use is currently banned in the US although the FAA has issued special permits to more than 2,100 companies to do so. Amazon, Google and now Walmart are testing how drones could improve their businesses ahead of drone guidelines that could arrive within the next eight months or so.

    A spokesperson for the FAA said it will review Walmart’s submission to determine if approval can be fast-tracked or if it would set a precedent for exemptions. If that were the case, regulators would need to conduct a detailed risk analysis as well as seek comment from the public before proceeding. Petitions like this are typically answered within 120 days, the spokesperson said.

    Image courtesy Charles Platiau, Reuters

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  2. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    I can really picture drones as a future for delivery. I can't predict the delivery radius of a drone in the coming years, like how far a truck will carry a package before the drone finishes the trip. But for speed and cost effectiveness I think that the drones have it. Sending 1 truck to 70 stops vs 1 drone to one stop sounds more efficient time-wise. I hope all those truck drivers will become drone loaders in the future.
     
  3. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,324   +711

    I think you need to rethink the math. It doesn't even make sense for Wal-Mart to buy its own fleet of delivery trucks or they would have already done so. With that in mind, does it make any sense for a company to buy thousands of drones to deliver A SINGLE PACKAGE PER FLIGHT rather than just let FedEx and other delivery specialists keep right on doing the job? Drones are a fad these companies are trying to capitalize on, just like "flat design" and other trends that add no value whatsoever. The idea of delivery drones is fraught with so many logistical and legal hurdles that I question the stability of any company that's even toying with the idea. I certainly wouldn't be buying any of their stock.
     
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  4. Luurch

    Luurch TS Rookie Posts: 16

    Well well...Wally world jumping on the future band wagon. Problem is is that they will do it as cheap as they possibly can, and probably buy some knock off drone, trying to save money. I don't think amazon will cut corners. I can see it now, the drone delivers a candy bar, then a phone call ensues, telling you to bring the drone back within 24 hours or be charged for it, because it's battery died.
     

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