Walmart Seeks Federal Approval For Drone Delivery Tests

Walmart has reportedly filed with the FAA to conduct outdoor tests of drones' inventory tracking, home delivery, and curbside pickup capabilities.

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A DJI Phantom 3 drone is flown during a drone demonstration at a farm and winery. Walmart petitioned FAA on Oct. 26 to test this type of drone for package delivery. (AP Photo)Walmart is the latest corporate behemoth to venture into the world of delivery via drone.

Multiple reports say that the world's largest retailer on Monday filed with the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct outdoor tests of drones' inventory tracking, home delivery and curbside pickup capabilities.

Walmart officials reportedly tested drones indoors for months prior to this week's filing. The drones would be produced by Chinese company SZ DJI Technology.

"There is a Walmart within five miles of 70 percent of the U.S. population, which creates some unique and interesting possibilities for serving customers with drones," said spokesman Dan Toporek.

The FAA has not authorized drones for commercial purposes, but the agency — after complaints from — earlier this year indicated that it would grant expedited exemptions if an application mirrored a previously approved filing.

FAA officials exempt to set final rules for commercial drones by next summer.

Amazon indicated that it would begin drone delivery as soon as it receives approval from federal regulators. Google and parcel delivery companies are also working on drone programs.