For the first time in the United States, a drone last week completed a scheduled commercial residential delivery to a home in Christiansburg, Virginia.
“Innovation has been part of the FedEx DNA since day one, and we are always looking for new and better ways to deliver the world to our customers’ doorsteps,” said Don Colleran, president and CEO of FedEx Express. “For our customers in Christiansburg, this collaboration will test the latest innovation in the last mile of a residential package delivery.”
Last week’s delivery of a FedEx Express package marks the launch of the first scheduled, commercial residential drone delivery service and the first scheduled e-commerce delivery via drone delivery trial in the United States.
For the duration of the trial, Wing drones will transport select FedEx packages to qualifying homes in Christiansburg, demonstrating the benefits of drone delivery for last-mile delivery service. Wing has received the first authorisation from the FAA to conduct scheduled, commercial drone package delivery to residences.
“We hope that this latest addition to our delivery options will enhance the last mile service for urgent same-day deliveries, customers in rural or semi-rural areas, and other exceptional delivery needs,” Colleran said.
Customers of FedEx who live within designated delivery zones in Christiansburg, Virginia, and who opt-in to the Wing delivery service, will be able to receive eligible packages via drone during the trial program, provided certain operating conditions are met. Wing’s pilot program also includes a collaboration with Walgreens, allowing program participants to order health and wellness products through Wing’s delivery app.
FedEx is also participating in the U.S. DOT’s Unmanned Aircraft System IPP in conjunction with the Memphis Shelby-County Airport Authority, conducting drone operations on airport property to generate data to help inform future UAS policymaking.