By Will Feuer

 

Amazon.com Inc. said it will start customer drone deliveries in California later this year, as the race for rapid distribution heats up among the likes of Walmart Inc. and FedEx Corp.

Amazon said its customers in Lockeford, Calif. will be among the first to receive Prime Air drone deliveries in the U.S.

The company said it is starting to reach out to customers Monday about the forthcoming option to get drone delivery on thousands of everyday items. Amazon said it will be the largest selection of items to ever be available for drone delivery.

Participating customers will see Prime Air-eligible items on Amazon, and will place an order as they normally would, Amazon said. Prime Air drones fly up to 50 miles an hour at an altitude of up to 400 feet and can carry packages of up to 5 pounds, the company said.

Prime Air drones also have a sense-and-avoid system that lets them operate at greater distances while avoiding other aircrafts and obstacles, Amazon said.

The announcement from Amazon comes just weeks after Walmart said it is expanding its drone delivery operations to some 4 million households in six states.

 

Write to Will Feuer at Will.Feuer@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 13, 2022 09:57 ET (13:57 GMT)

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