//Walmart Teams With Alphabet’s Wing To Expand Drone Deliveries

Walmart Teams With Alphabet’s Wing To Expand Drone Deliveries

For years now, there’s been a sort of quiet assumption that we would eventually be receiving all of our packages and groceries straight to our homes via drone delivery. Of course, the process of actually facilitating drone deliveries is long and arduous, which is why the concept has been slow to grow, even for retail giants like Amazon. However, thanks to the latest team up between a retail giant and a tech giant, we may see a wider adoption of drone deliveries.

Massive retail chain Walmart announced today that it is entering into a formal partnership with Wing, the drone delivery development division of Google parent company Alphabet. Walmart has been tinkering with the idea of drone delivery since 2021, though so far, they’ve only managed to get it running at 36 retail locations across seven U.S. states. With Wing’s help, though, they’ll be able to reach a much wider clientele, starting with the massive metropolitan area surrounding Dallas, Texas.

“Working with Wing directly aligns with our passion for finding innovative and eco-friendly last-mile delivery solutions to get customers the items they want, when they want them,” Prathibha Rajashekhar, Walmart’s SVP Innovation & Automation, said in the announcement. “With drones that can fly beyond visual line of sight, we’re able to unlock on-demand delivery for customers living within an approximate 6-mile range of the stores that offer the service.”

Reaching Dallas homes via drone

Dallas Walmart storefront

Harry Thomas Flower/Shutterstock

According to a separate press release from Wing CFO Shannon Nash, this partner-powered drone delivery service will be starting out in the communities of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex — specifically in the vicinity of the Walmart Supercenter in Frisco, Texas. An additional Walmart location in Texas will be receiving this updated service before the end of 2023.

“This is a major milestone for Wing, as we continue down our path toward building capabilities to support some of the most significant delivery operations in the world,” Nash said. “Our technology is designed to complement existing delivery offerings, making overall systems more efficient and able to meet real customer needs.”

In addition to the expanded delivery radius, Nash added that, in accordance with customer demand, the delivery service will be expanding its operating hours. Wing deliveries will be available from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. local time, operating six days of the week, excluding Wednesdays.

For those interested in the expanded service, you can download the Wing Drone Delivery app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store and make an account. If you receive a “coming soon” message for your location, your home will be included in the expanded delivery radius. If you are not eligible, Nash assures that more expansions will follow after the current one.