U.S. distribution giant evokes a range of possible uses for its UAVs, deliveries to the surveillance of warehouses.
Technology increasingly at the service of the giants of distribution. Like Amazon before him, Wal-Mart filed Monday a request from the US authorities in order to test the use of drones, for deliveries, but also for the monitoring of its warehouses. A spokesman of the U.S. group, which recalls that Wal-Mart ‘testing technology of UAVs indoors for several months”, considers that the permission of the Federal Agency of aviation (FAA)”would give permission to start to do outdoor tests.
Create interesting opportunities
The American giant evokes a range of possible uses for its drones in its application filed Monday. It said will be used to collect air, to monitor the outside of its distribution centers, to carry purchases from the store to the car by the client in the parking lot, and even for deliveries at home.
The use of drones “is part of our efforts ongoing to improve the effectiveness of our supply chain and to serve consumers faster and better,” said the spokesman. And pointed out that 70% of the U.S. population is less than five miles (eight kilometers) from a Wal-Mart store, which “creates interesting possibilities of services to customers with drones.
Wal-Mart hunting on Amazon land
Even if it shall have its ‘own calendar’, Wal-Mart thus walking in the footsteps of the American heavyweight of online Amazon commerce, which had mentioned the possibility to use drones to deliver small parcels for the first time early 2013. After much procrastination, Amazon ended the approval to testing outside the United States in March 2015.
Competition between Amazon and Wal-Mart is much exacerbated in recent months. Wal-Mart tries to hunt on the lands of Amazon by strengthening its online sales activities, but internet group now displays a market capitalization far superior to that of giant supermarkets.
Among the other groups that have said to explore the possibilities of making deliveries by drones are also the US internet group Alphabet (ex-Google) or online Chinese trade giant Alibaba.
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