Relief for the sniffles and the munchies will be just a drone flight away for Christianburg, Va. residents.
Drugstore chain Walgreens is partnering with Alphabet UAV spinoff Wing to launch a pilot drone delivery service.
The store-to-door program will carry 100 select products to Walgreens customers including food, beverages and over-the-counter medicine via the Wing app.
Christianburg – population 21,000 – is just down the road from Virginia Tech, a participant in the UAS Integration Pilot Program. Earlier this year, Wing became the first certified Air Carrier for drones in the U.S. after successfully testing delivery operations overseas and in Virginia as part of the pilot program.
Eligible customers will be able to order from a menu of more than 100 Walgreens products as well as pre-packaged bundles for allergies, baby-care, cough/cold, first-aid, pain relief and snacks.
“Parents at home with a sick child can order the ‘baby pack’ with items such as baby aspirin, water and more to nurse their little one back to health while never having to leave their side,” a Walgreens spokesperson stated.
If the program takes flight, the service could move Walgreens’ market share to new heights. The company said 78 percent of the U.S. populations lives within 5 miles of a Walgreens-owned store.
In a blog post earlier this year, Wing promoted the Virginia-based initiative as a consumer game-changer.
“For communities across the country, this presents new opportunities. Goods like medicine or food can now be delivered faster by drone, giving families, shift workers, and other busy consumers more time to do the things that matter. Air delivery also provides greater autonomy to those who need assistance with mobility. Also, our all-electric drones will reduce traffic on our roads and pollution and carbon emissions in our skies.”
Wing is reaching out to Christianburg residents to answer questions, demonstrate drone tech and collect feedback on the delivery project.
Wing has been conducting trials in Australia since 2014, flying more than 3,000 deliveries including food, household items and over-the-counter products to residents of rural communities.