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Kroger Likely to Partner with Drone Express for New Pilot Program

Kroger, an American retail company based in Cincinnati, Ohio, is scaling up its technological orientation. It is partnering with Drone Express to initiate a pilot program focused on testing the drone delivery systems for groceries in Centerville, Ohio.

Kroger first drone-enabled delivery took place on Wednesday and brought about a few minutes only. Shortest testing, however, Kroger has worked on the adoption of this technology for many years. It has also been contributed by local advocates trying to pursue the desired federal authorization for initiating specific drone research in Dayton and Springfield areas. The first drone delivery wasn’t conducted in a familiar space such as the Backyard of TELEGRID Technologies’ Drone Express, the drone operator in New Jersey, or anywhere near Kroger headquarters in Cincinnati. Instead, the first drone delivery took place in Miami Valley.Jeff Hoagland, president, chief executive officer of the Dayton Development Coalition, believes proximity to be a critical factor.

The coalition’s executives and staff members incessantly pushed to acquire Federal Aviation Administration authorization for the “Beyond Visual Light of Sight” control of drones. It consists of a drone operating without the pilot’s ability to see it and a chase plane observing or following.This authorization was finally granted in April 2019 to the Wright-Patterson Air Force-based Air Force Research Laboratory.

Testing of the technology was initiated by the Ohio Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center and AFRL at the Springfield Beckley Municipal Airport. At that time, Dayton-Springfield was probably the only locale in the nation to receive FAA authorization for BVLOS research, according to Lord Thompson, defense industry analyst, and chief executive officer.

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