BENTONVILLE, ARKANSAS — Walmart applied to the Federal Aviation Administration on Monday for permission to test the use of drones for home deliveries and at its distribution centers and stores, reported Reuters.
Walmart has been conducting indoor tests using Phantom 3 and S900 drones, both of which are manufactured by SZ DJI Technology of China, and is ready to move forward to outdoor testing, said Dan Toporek, a spokesman for Walmart.
Walmart is seeking permission to use the drones to take stock of the contents inside trucks parked at its warehouses. Drones can also deliver groceries to pick-up points at store parking lots. Furthermore, Walmart wants to test whether drones can successfully make home deliveries in small residential neighborhoods after obtaining permission from the households in its flight path, according to a copy of the application reviewed by Reuters.
The Federal Aviation Administration could take up to 120 days to review the application. If the FAA approves Walmart’s application, the retail giant will be joining Amazon and Google in the competition over e-commerce services.
The FAA is hoping to finalize its regulations on commercial drone use in the next eight months, said FAA Deputy Administrator Michael Whitaker to Reuters.
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