Amazon isn’t the only giant retailer who wants to use drones for delivery.
Walmart has now requested permission from the government to begin testing drones to deliver packages.
While Walmart has tested drones inside facilities, it now wants to begin testing the aircraft outside. So on Monday, the company applied to the Federal Aviation Administration for an exemption from current exemptions in order to begin testing the unmanned aircraft.
The company is still waiting on approval, but if it gets the green light, it wants to test using drones to make deliveries in its parking lot as well at to homes. It also wants to use the aircraft to monitor its distribution centres and other company properties, according to its filing with the FAA.
So far, the FAA has granted more than 2,000 petitions to businesses in the US to operate drones. These licenses allow companies to use drones for aerial photography, pipeline inspection, and for monitoring crops, however, the drones must be operated by a drone pilot and must be within site at all times.
No business currently has permission to use the aircraft to make deliveries, but that hasn’t stopped companies like Amazon and Google from testing the technology. The FAA is expected to establish regulations for drones to operate commercially within the next 12 months, however, given that the government agency has already missed some regulatory deadlines, it’s possible it could take longer for the rules to be in place.
Companies are not the only ones waiting on commercial drones to get the ok, though. Consumers are also ready for the technology to take off.
Almost 80% of consumers would be more likely to shop with a retailer that offers drone delivery to their doorstep and 77% of consumers would pay extra for the service, according to the 2015 Walker Sands Future of Retail Study.
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