Walmart is using drones to deliver COVID-19 tests in Vegas

Walmart is using drones to deliver COVID-19 tests in Vegas
While customers will receive a text from the droneup Quest Diagnostics (DGX) Testing is on its way. And depending on where the cars and trees are there, the kit will land on people’s driveways, front sidewalks or backyards. Delivery, which will take less than five minutes, will be free.

Samples can then be sent to Quest Lab via FedEx, which sends the results digitally.

“We hope that the drone delivery of self-storage kits will shape the large-scale contactless testing capability and continue to promote Walmart’s innovative ways of using drone delivery in the future,” said Tom W. Ward, senior vice president of consumer products at Walmart. A blog post.

For now, the majority of Americans will not have access to drone distributions of Covid-19 tests. Walmart (WMT) The drone trial is planned to expand in early October – outside Buffalo – in Chectowaga, New York, but no other site has been announced.

And there are limitations to the program. Drone delivery is only available “between supplies” between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., and in single-family homes. And delivery can be prevented by “expected physical barriers, power lines, trees, cars or the weather.”

In other words, if you need a Covid-19 test on a rainy day, it probably won’t come by drone.

For failing to deliver the minimum, Quest Diagnostics said delivery areas would be “surveyed in real time” in advance.

Last week, Quest and Walmart Announced The Covid-19 tests can now be taken at more than 500 martmart drive-through pharmacy locations in the United States.

The Covid-19 test drone program is just one part of Walmart’s experiments with drones.

Earlier this month, Walmart launched a drone pilot program with Flytrax To deliver household and grocery items to customers in Fayetteville, North Carolina. And next year Walmart plans to launch a separate drone program with Zipline Two Deliver health and wellness programs to customers Near the retail giant headquarters in Northwest Arkansas.

“We know it will be a while before we see the millions of packages delivered by drones,” writes Ward Lamart’s executive in a separate blog post. “It still sounds a bit like science fiction, but we are at a stage where we will learn more and more about the technology available and how we can use it to make life easier for its customers.”

Walmart rival Amazon (AMZN) The drone is also making progress on delivery, albeit at a slower pace than some had hoped. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos The first announcement was made in late 2013 It is planned to use a drone to deliver in 30 minutes or less.
Yet progress has been slow because of drone technology and regulations Is Just not ready for widespread use – at least not yet. In particular, the FAA is still working on the road Remote drone identification, The decisive step for safety.
In late 2016, Amazon created Launched drone delivery trial in Britain. And last month, Amazon received a decisive certification from the FAA that brings the e-C states mercenary giant one step closer to making drone delivery a reality in the United States.
UPS (UPS) And Wing, a division owned by Google Alphabet (Google), Also received an FAA certificate in 2019 for drone delivery.

CNN Business’ Matt McFarland contributed to this report.


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