Walmart Teams with Zipline to Launch Autonomous Aircraft Delivery Service in Northwest Arkansas
The launch marks Zipline’s first commercial deliveries in the U.S.
SAN FRANCISCO, Ca. and BENTONVILLE, Ark. – November 18, 2021- The future of instant deliveries in Northwest Arkansas is looking up as Walmart and Zipline announced today the launch of its much-anticipated instant delivery service in Pea Ridge, Ark. The new service will make on-demand deliveries of select health and wellness and consumable items from the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Pea Ridge, Ark.
“Zipline’s autonomous aircraft present an incredible opportunity to offer customers an on-demand delivery option for the items they need now, such as a thermometer, non-prescription medication or an emergency pack of diapers,” said Tom Ward, senior vice president, Last Mile Delivery, Walmart U.S. “Even more, Zipline’s aircraft can help provide immediate access to needed items for both hard-to-reach and at-risk populations, such as rural communities and elderly customers. By bringing this game-changing technology to the rural community of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, we’re continuing to look for ways to make shopping with Walmart convenient and easy – for everyone.”
Since announcing the service last fall, Walmart and Zipline have been hard at work building a first-of-its kind 25-foot platform that serves as the infrastructure for take-off and landing. The platform, which is located directly behind the Neighborhood Market, houses several of Zipline’s proprietary autonomous aircraft as well as its flight operations crew. At full capacity, Zipline’s aircraft can service a 50-mile radius, nearly the size of the state of Connecticut.
Eligible customers can begin placing orders for delivery, beginning today. Here’s how it works:
- The customer opens the Zipline app, orders the products they would like delivered and selects a delivery time at checkout.
- A Walmart associate picks and packs the products and hands the package off to Zipline staff, who prepare the aircraft for launch.
- The aircraft departs to the customer’s home, drops the package and returns to the platform. The customer can track the status of the aircraft through the Zipline app.
“We’ve seen firsthand the impact that instant logistics can have in making important, even life saving products, available on a moment’s notice,” said Keller Rinaudo, co-founder and CEO of Zipline. “At the same time, the past two years have proven the need to bring health products closer to home, where they are more accessible. Working with Walmart, we’re able to bring this type of service to Northwest Arkansas, showcasing what the future of health access looks like.”
“Only two weeks after Walmart launched its autonomous truck delivery system in Northwest Arkansas, the company is launching its autonomous aircraft service,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “Walmart and its partners such as Zipline are harnessing customer-friendly technology with such lightning speed that the future is becoming a reality far sooner than many Arkansans thought possible.”
Zipline began operating in 2016 and has completed over 200,000 commercial deliveries of over 4.5 million units of medical supplies, serving more than 20 million people across multiple countries. The company is committed to ensuring the highest levels of safety with operations that are in full compliance with FAA regulations.
Over the last three years, Walmart has scaled its delivery network to be offered in more than 3,000 stores reaching 70% of the U.S. population and growing. The retailer has accomplished this through a combination of 3rd party delivery providers, service providers on the Spark Driver platform and associate delivery drivers. The retailer has been on the forefront of incorporating autonomous and sustainable innovations – from drones to self-driving cars – into its last mile network as it identifies additional ways to serve customers with convenience and speed.
Zipline is the global instant logistics leader. Our purpose is to inspire possibility, transform systems and serve all people equally. We design, manufacture and operate the world’s largest automated on-demand delivery service, which to date has made more than 200,000 commercial deliveries. Zipline is the trusted partner for governments, global brands and leading health care systems. For more information, visit flyzipline.com.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better - anytime and anywhere - in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, approximately 220 million customers and members visit approximately 10,500 stores and clubs under 48 banners in 24 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2021 revenue of $559 billion, Walmart employs 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting https://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at https://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/walmart.