Today, regional supermarket chain Kroger announced that it is starting a pilot drone delivery program in Ohio. That way, customers can order small groceries and have them delivered to their front door by drone in just 1
According to Kroger, this is the first of many locations and programs where it will test this new system. For now, it appears that grocery deliveries are only offered near the company’s store in Centerville, Ohio. This is a pilot program for the time being, with the aim that deliveries to customers will start this spring. From there, a second phase of testing is scheduled to launch this summer at a Ralphs store in California.
For those wondering, until last year, the Federal Aviation Administration did not allow commercial use of drones outside of the pilot’s field of view, making delivery systems nearly impossible. However, now that that law has been lifted, we can expect similar delivery schedules and testing at different retailers.
At the moment, it looks like Kroger is only testing small packages, which is probably all they’ll be offering customers, at least initially. That’s mainly because of the drones, provided by Drone Express, which can only carry about 5 pounds at a time. “The flights will be managed by licensed Drone Express pilots from an on-site trailer with additional off-site monitoring,” said Kroger’s press release.
It seems these deliveries could potentially arrive within 15 minutes, Kroger said. In addition, they deliver on GPS coordinates as well as a physical address. Imagine ordering snacks for a picnic in the park or extra supplies (aka beer) for a backyard BBQ and having them delivered in minutes.
Today, businesses continue to look for ways to provide customers with unparalleled flexibility, from Amazon placing packages in your garage to flying delivery drones and more. Soon we won’t even have to leave our homes.
via: Ars Technica