Wing, Alphabet’s aviation subsidiary, is partnering with Walmart to kick off drone deliveries from the retail chain in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) metro area. The flights will begin taking off “in the coming weeks” from a Walmart Supercenter in Frisco, TX, and the companies plan to expand to a second DFW location before the end of the year. The companies say the coverage area from both stores will cover 60,000 homes.
The service will be available to homes within about six miles of the supported stores. Residents in those areas can order things like quick meals, groceries, essentials and over-the-counter medicines. The drones can fly up to 65 mph, and Wing says you’ll get your items in under 30 minutes. They use a retractable tether to “gently deliver even delicate items” — including challenging products like eggs and frozen treats.
Wing’s drones are largely automated and monitored remotely. “Wing’s technology allows operators to oversee the system from a remote location, which means pilots won’t need to be stationed at stores or customer homes,” Alphabet’s company wrote in an announcement blog post. “The aircraft essentially fly themselves, so each operator is approved to safely oversee many drones at the same time.”
Wing has already partnered with Walgreens for drone deliveries in the DFW region. Meanwhile, Walmart said in 2022 that its own DroneUp delivery service had covered around four million households in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah and Virginia. However, the retailer reportedly laid off 418 DroneUp employees earlier this year.