US-based retail giant Walmart and its delivery partner, DroneUp, have revealed plans to expand their drone delivery services to more locations across the US.
Walmart will extend the delivery network to 34 sites across Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah and Virginia by the end of this year.
This will allow the company to provide drone delivery service to an additional four million households.
Customers can order from tens of thousands of eligible items, including Tylenol, nappies and hot dog buns, and have them delivered by air within 30 minutes.
The service will be available for 12 hours each day for a delivery fee of $3.99.
In a statement, Walmart said: “After completing hundreds of deliveries within a matter of months across our existing DroneUp hubs, we’ve seen first-hand how drones can offer customers a practical solution for getting certain items, fast.
“More importantly, we’ve seen a positive response from our customers that have used the service.
“In fact, while we initially thought customers would use the service for emergency items, we’re finding they use it for its sheer convenience, like a quick fix for a weeknight meal.”
In addition to goods deliveries, Walmart said that it aims to give back to the communities in which it operates through the expansion.
Local businesses and municipalities will be able to use DroneUp aerial drone solutions in areas such as insurance, emergency response and real estate.
Walmart added: “A core value at Walmart is to give back to the communities in which we operate, which is why as we scale our drone infrastructure, we’ll continue to influence the expansion of drone technology and enable other businesses to explore its benefits, too.”
Walmart invested in DroneUp last June to expedite its efforts to develop a last-mile delivery solution.
The companies launched their first multi-site commercial drone delivery operations in north-west Arkansas later in the year.