Logistics giant FedEx completed a commercial residential delivery to a home in Christiansburg, Virginia via drone last week. The drop off was conducted by Wing Aviation, in collaboration with FedEx Express, as part of the US Department of Transportation’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program (IPP).
The delivery of a FedEx Express package marks the launch of the first scheduled, commercial residential drone delivery service and the first scheduled ecommerce 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.
“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 semi-rural areas, and other exceptional delivery needs,” said Don Colleran, President & CEO of FedEx Express.
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 US 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.