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The Supply Side: Walmart continues autonomous delivery testing; some pilots paused

Walmart began testing order delivery via autonomous vehicles in select markets in late 2018, but the retail giant’s focus appears to be drone delivery.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart began testing order delivery via autonomous vehicles in select markets in late 2018, but the retail giant’s focus appears to be drone delivery. Walmart testing now includes grocery delivery with Flytrex drone service in Fayetteville, N.C.

The pilot will focus on grocery and household essentials weighing no more than 6.6 pounds and picked from Walmart stores. Analysts said drones offer the retail giant a less expensive way to deliver the final mile, cutting out the most costly element: labor.

The Flytrex drones are controlled over the cloud using a smart and easy control dashboard, which will help Walmart gain valuable insight into the customer and associate experience, from picking and packing to takeoff and delivery, according to the release. Flytrex had delivered groceries from select Walmart stores in North Dakota before the pilot in North Carolina, according to the startup’s website.

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