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Walmart’s Drone Delivery takes off in Texas with DroneUp

Select customers in 8 Texas cities can take advantage of same-day delivery via drone.

Santa’s sleigh may not be the only thing seen flying in the skies of Texas. Walmart’s drone delivery service is now available for select customers in the Dallas-area.

The new delivery option will be fulfilled from 11 stores, making it easier than ever for customers to grab last-minute gifts.

This marks the first time customers in Texas can take advantage of Walmart’s drone delivery, following the retailer’s earlier announcement of plans to expand its DroneUp network to reach four million additional households across six states, including Texas. From last minute meal solutions to a package of Christmas cookies, Walmart has successfully executed thousands of same-day drone deliveries to date, the company said.

[Read more: DroneUp expands Walmart drone delivery in Arkansas]

“Drone delivery makes it possible for our customers to shop those last-minute or forgotten items with ease, in a package that’s frankly really cool. Being on the forefront of that innovation at Walmart is something we’re proud of,” said Vik Gopalakrishnan, vice president, innovation & automation at Walmart U.S. “It may seem like a futuristic option, but it’s giving our customers what they’ve always wanted, and that’s time back to focus on what is most important to them.”

Here's how it works:

Customers living within a mile of a participating store can place orders here between the hours of 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. local time. Drones can deliver more than 10,000 eligible Walmart items up to 10 pounds, including fragile items like eggs, in as little as 30 minutes. There are no order minimums and the delivery fee is just $3.99. With use of promo code FreeDeliveryTX, customers using drone delivery for the first time will have the delivery fee waived. Once the items are packaged and loaded into the drone, the order is then delivered using a cable that gently lowers the package into the customer’s yard.

To celebrate, Walmart and DroneUp joined Piedmont G.L.O.B.A.L. Academy in Southern Dallas to host a hands-on drone flight and delivery demo alongside simulated activities for Advanced via Individual Determination students. Walmart presented the school with a donation of $5,000 and graphing calculators for the classroom.

“We are thankful to Walmart and DroneUp for investing in our scholars and providing an enlightening experience,” said Principal Letrice Portley. “This donation will absolutely put these students on the path to success, showcasing the powerful impact community-school partnerships have on the lives of our future leaders, thinkers and innovators.”

[Read more: Walmart piloting on-demand drone delivery]

In partnership with DroneUp, Walmart will offer drone delivery in five other states in addition to Texas by the end of the year, including: Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Utah and Virginia. In total, there will be 34 stores making drone delivery available in 23 cities nationwide by year end.

“Our mission is to set the gold standard for drone delivery and by partnering with Walmart, bring the incredible benefits that drones offer to local communities, organizations and businesses,” said Tom Walker, CEO of DroneUp. “Our approach is unique; we practice safety above all else and incorporate state-of-the-art technology. Our strong relationship with the FAA has also been critical to our success as we build an infrastructure that supports growth and great career programs for operators now and in the future.”

DroneUp deliveries are powered by a team of certified pilots operating within FAA guidelines to safely manage flight operations. Deliveries will be made to the safest location of the customer’s home, such as in the front or backyard or driveway. 

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