Tesco to trial home delivery of groceries with drones

Drone delivery of groceries becomes popular in the food distribution sector, with operators such as Tesco and Walmart launching to innovate in this field. Tesco, Britain’s biggest retailer, will test home delivery of groceries using drones next month with the aim of experimenting with different ways to reach more customers.

This pilot test, to be carried out in Ireland with the Manna company, will focus only on a small selection of products. Based at Tesco’s Oranmore store, County Galway, the drones from Manna will deliver “small baskets” of goods to the local area. It is estimated that deliveries will be made between 30 minutes and an hour after making the purchase.

During delivery, the drones will fly along predetermined routes at an altitude of 24 meters and at a speed of about 50mph (80km/h). They can deliver up to 4kg (9lb) of shopping – in a cargo cassette lowered from the drone – within a 2km radius in less than 3 minutes.

Manna’s drones have already passed delivery trials. In particular, they were used to deliver medicines and other essential supplies to vulnerable people in the small rural town of Moneygall, during the coronavirus pandemic.

In the case of Walmart, the chosen company has been Flytreux. The pilot program will take place in Fayetteville (North Carolina) with the intention of speeding up deliveries, the demand for which has increased due to the effects of COVID-19.

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