Will Drones Begin Delivering COVID-19 Tests (And More) in Idaho?
On Tuesday, Walmart unveiled a drone delivery program that drops off COVID-19 tests in the North Las Vegas, Nevada area, according to CNN. How a cool of an idea, right? It sounds like a pretty easy and effortless process for the consumer. Customers will reportedly get a text when the test is on the way. The samples can then be sent through FedEx to a lab that sends out results digitally within 48 hours.
There are strict requirements in place for these deliveries though. First, customers must live within a one-mile radius of the store. Deliveries also only happen during certain hours and there cannot be any "unanticipated physical barriers." The weather must be just right too.
This news really begs the question: will drones soon be delivering all of our personal needs and groceries? I personally don't think it's matter of "if" but rather "when." Walmart exec Tom Ward says that delivering millions of items with drones "still feels like a bit of science fiction, but we're at a point where we're learning more and more about the technology that is available and how we can use it to make our customers happy."
Earlier this year Walmart began testing delivering groceries and other products by drones. Walmart isn't the first and only though. Amazon has began testing their own drone delivery service, Prime Air, in several cities. According to Amazon, Prime Air can safely deliver packages to customers in 30 minutes or less. It's described as a "future delivery system."
The future is here, everyone!