WASHINGTON, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Wing
said on Wednesday that Walgreens will use its new drones
to make deliveries from a store in Texas, in the first use of
such vehicles in a major U.S. metro area.
Wing said it will launch the effort at a Dallas-Fort Worth
area Walgreens store in its parking lot, serving parts of the
city of Frisco and town of Little Elm. Prior to this, drone
delivery projects have been in smaller U.S. towns.
"The aircraft will arrive in small containers that serve as
tiny hangars, allowing each store to quickly and easily deploy a
small, dedicated fleet from its parking lot, on its roof, or in
small spaces adjacent to the building," Wing said.
Wing said Walgreens employees will process and load packages
onto the delivery drones, rather than Wing employees.
Wing said that since June it has been conducting test
flights at a drone testing facility in Fort Worth and in the
coming months expects to launch a commercial service there that
it says will "be the first of its kind in a major U.S. metro"
Companies have been racing to create drone fleets to speed
deliveries and launching new pilot projects - like United Parcel
Service delivering prescriptions or Walmart delivering
The United States has over 1.7 million drone registrations
and 249,000 FAA-certificated remote pilots.
In April, final Federal Aviation Administration rules took
effect allowing for small drones to fly over people and at
night, a significant step toward their eventual use for
widespread commercial deliveries.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)