Walmart Delivery Drones Now Operate in 7 States

Walmart's drones completed about 6,000 deliveries during the past year, the company says.

Zachary McAuliffe Staff writer
Zach began writing for CNET in November, 2021 after writing for a broadcast news station in his hometown, Cincinnati, for five years. You can usually find him reading and drinking coffee or watching a TV series with his wife and their dog.
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Zachary McAuliffe
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Drone flying while carrying a Walmart package.

Order up to 10 pounds of goods, and Walmart will deliver by drone in as little as 30 minutes.

Walmart; screenshot by CNET

Walmart's drone delivery program continues to expand. It now ferries items to buyers in seven states -- Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Utah and Virginia -- and the program completed more than 6,000 delivers during the past year, the company said Thursday.

Drone delivery is available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. for a fee of $4. Customers can order items totaling up to 10 pounds and have them delivered by drone in as little as 30 minutes.

As noted by CNET's Stephen Shankland, delivery drones don't usually land in your yard but stay airborne to minimize safety and noise problems. Zipline drones, for example, stay between 300 and 400 feet in the air during deliveries. Some packages delivered by drone are padded containers with parachutes attached. Others are lowered to the ground by a tether. 

Retailers besides Walmart are also delivering more packages via drones. Amazon recently started drone deliveries to homes in College Station, Texas, and Lockeford, California. Amazon spokesperson Av Zammit told CNET the company plans to expand its drone delivery service over time. 

A study by Carnegie Mellon researchers reported that delivery drones emit 84% less greenhouse gases than diesel trucks and 31% less than electric vans. That means drone deliveries could cut carbon emissions by 49 kilotons per year, according to a study by consulting firm Accenture. Delivery drones also cut back on road congestion. Still, drone companies continue to grapple with problems regarding privacy, noise, safety and cluttered skies.

For more, check out why drone deliveries are closer than you think and see Amazon's smaller delivery drone that operates in the rain.

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