Walmart is dipping its toe in on-demand delivery, using drone technology to deliver groceries and household essential items in a partnership with end-to-end drone delivery firm Flytex.
The retail giant said the service starts on Wednesday in Fayetteville, N.C. with automated drones picking up and delivering select items.
The devices are controlled via the cloud using a "smart and easy" control dashboard. The technology is said to help Walmart "gain valuable insight into the customer and associate experience, from picking and packing to takeoff and delivery," wrote Tom Ward, senior vice president of customer products at Walmart.
It's Walmart's hope that the program will "help shape the potential of drone delivery on a larger scale" and "take Walmart beyond where we’ve been," Ward said.
However, he also acknowledged that it will be a while before drones are widely used for package deliveries.
"We know that it will be some time before we see millions of packages delivered via drone," Ward wrote. “That still feels like a bit of science fiction, but we’re at a point where we’re learning more and more about the technology that is available and how we can use it to make our customers’ lives easier."
|UPS||UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, INC.||214.14||-2.27||-1.05%|
The news comes after Amazon won regulatory approval to deliver packages by drone. However, the company said it was still testing the self-piloting aircraft and didn’t say when they could be used to deliver goods to shoppers on a large scale.
UPS and a company owned by search giant Google have also won regulatory approval to deliver by drones.
Flytrex has not immediately responded to FOX Business' request for comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.