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FedEx officials said the company’s test drone program completed the first U.S. residential delivery of commercial goods, a scheduled trip to a home in Christiansburg, Va., on Oct. 18.
FedEx officials said the drone delivery was conducted by Wing Aviation, owned by Alphabet Inc., in collaboration with FedEx Express, as part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program.
The delivery of the FedEx Express package launched the first commercial drone-delivery service to residences, as it also was the first scheduled e-commerce delivery via a drone delivery trial in the U.S., FedEx Corp. officials said.
For the duration of the trial, Wing drones will transport select FedEx packages to qualifying homes in Christiansburg. Wing has received the first authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct scheduled commercial drone package deliveries to residences.
“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. 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 semirural areas, and other exceptional delivery needs.”
Wing’s pilot program includes a collaboration with Walgreens, allowing program participants to order health and wellness products through Wing’s delivery app.
FedEx Express is an express transportation company, providing delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. Wing, a subsidiary of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is an autonomous delivery drone service.
FedEx Corp. ranks No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in North America. FedEx has annual revenue of about $70 billion and 450,000 employees. — Transport Topics
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