Today, the regional supermarket chain Kroger announced it is launching a drone delivery pilot program in Ohio. That way, customers can order small grocery items and have them delivered by drone right to their doorstep in as little as 15 minutes.
According to Kroger, this is the first of many locations and programs where it will test this new system. For now, it looks like grocery deliveries will only be offered near the company’s store in Centerville, Ohio. This is a pilot program for now, with a goal of customer deliveries beginning this spring. From there, a second testing phase is scheduled to launch this summer at a Ralphs store in California.
For those wondering, until just last year, the Federal Aviation Administration did not allow commercial use of drones beyond the pilot’s line of sight, making delivery systems almost impossible. Now, however, with that law lifted, we can expect to see similar delivery programs and testing begin from several retailers.
Right now, it looks like Kroger is only testing small packages, which is likely all they’ll offer to customers, too, at least initially. That’s mainly due to the drones, provided by Drone Express, that are limited to only carrying 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,” according to Kroger’s press release.
It sounds like these deliveries could potentially arrive in as little as 15 minutes, according to Kroger. Plus, they’ll deliver to both GPS coordinates and a physical address. Imagine ordering snacks for a picnic at the park or extra supplies (aka beer) for a backyard BBQ and having it delivered within minutes.
These days businesses continue to look for ways to offer customers unparalleled flexibility, from Amazon putting packages in your garage to flying delivery drones and more. Soon, we won’t even have to leave our homes.
via: Ars Technica