“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, it said.
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, it said. Walmart has been incorporating autonomous and more sustainable innovations – from drones to self-driving cars – into its last mile network of late.