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Man shoots Walmart delivery drone, damages contents

Man shoots Walmart delivery drone, damages contents
Man shoots Walmart delivery drone, damages contents

It seems not everyone has a positive outlook on delivery drones. In an isolated incident, a Florida man was arrested after he allegedly shot at a Walmart delivery drone. The Lake County sheriff’s office says in a Facebook post that a bullet hole was discovered in the payload the drone was carrying. 

The department says, “Post-Miranda, the suspect admitted to shooting at the drone once with a 9mm pistol. He was taken into custody and charged with Shooting at an aircraft, Criminal mischief damage over $1,000, and Discharging a firearm in public or residential property,” the department says. 

Why are drones being used for delivery? Drones can deliver packages to a customer’s doorstep much faster than traditional delivery methods. This technology can bypass road traffic and take direct routes, enabling a company to reduce delivery times.

This incident raises questions about public reception of drone delivery services and their safety.

Walmart’s drone mission 

Retail giant Walmart is on a flying mission to deliver groceries to customers fast. The company has rolled out drone delivery in Dallas Fort Worth, bringing the delivery technology to 75% of that community. 

The drone package delivery market is soaring with Markets And Markets reporting estimated industry growth with a compound annual growth rate of 37.4% in the next six years. This is some significant growth. 

The report adds that new product launches and service partnerships are expected to offer lucrative opportunities to market players in the next five years.

Drone delivery is changing the game. Manufacturing company Zipline has partnered with Mayo Clinic’s campuses in Jacksonville, Florida, and Rochester, Minnesota for medication delivery. 

Industry players using drone deliveries 

Amazon has drones in flight, revealing its  60-minute medicine drone delivery service with its MK30 drone. Recently the company unveiled it would bring the technology to Arizona, USA. 

One thing retail companies will have in common is that offering drone delivery can lead to higher customer retention and loyalty, as customers appreciate the convenience and speed.

This new way of delivery also gives companies access to new markets and allows them to access remote areas, helping to increase the potential customer base.

Another topic that could separate companies apart is the weight each drone can carry. In January, CNET reported on Wing’s new 2.2kg (five pound) packages. 

What about safety when delivering packages? 

In 2022, Amazon announced its drone technology has a sense-and-avoid system to ensure the aircraft is able to detect and stay away from obstacles in the air and on the ground, such as other aircraft and people and pets in backyards. 

Who sets drone guidelines in the US? 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) sets specific guidelines for the operation of drones, including those used for delivery in the US. 

NOW READ: Exclusive: Dronamics redefining middle-mile logistic

Photo Credit: Canva

About the author

Sharl is a qualified journalist. He has over 10 years’ experience in the media industry, including positions as an editor of a magazine and Business Editor of a daily newspaper. Sharl also has experience in logistics specifically operations, where he worked with global food aid organisations distributing food into Africa. Sharl enjoys writing business stories and human interest pieces.

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