PEA RIDGE, Ark. — Walmart will soon be launching autonomous aircraft deliveries from the Neighborhood Market in Pea Ridge to customers in northwest Arkansas.
Through its partnership with Zipline, the company will be using drones to make on-demand deliveries of select health and wellness and consumable items to customers in Pea Ridge.
“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.”
The flight operations crew and the aircraft will be housed behind the Neighborhood Market on a 25-foot platform. The drone can deliver within a 50-mile radius.
Eligible customers can begin placing orders for delivery beginning Thursday, Nov. 18. Here’s how it works:
- The customer opens the Zipline app, orders the products they would like delivered and selects a delivery time at checkout.
- A Walmart associate picks and packs the products and hands the package off to Zipline staff, who prepare the aircraft for launch.
- The aircraft departs to the customer’s home, drops the package and returns to the platform. The customer can track the status of the aircraft through the Zipline app.
“Only two weeks after Walmart launched its autonomous truck delivery system in Northwest Arkansas, the company is launching its autonomous aircraft service,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “Walmart and its partners such as Zipline are harnessing customer-friendly technology with such lightning speed that the future is becoming a reality far sooner than many Arkansans thought possible.”
According to officials, Zipline began operating in 2016 and has completed over 200,000 commercial deliveries of over 4.5 million units of medical supplies, serving more than 20 million people across multiple countries.