Kroger to begin first drone deliveries in southwest Ohio this week

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

CENTERVILLE — Kroger will launch its first autonomous drone delivery from a Centerville store this week using technology based locally in Monroe.

The company’s Cincinnati-Dayton division is in partnership with Drone Express — a New Jersey-based business with a Monroe hub — to launch the technology Wednesday, Kroger said in a statement released by Centerville officials.

The Kroger Co. and Drone Express last month announced a pilot program to offer grocery delivery via autonomous drones and began testing it near the Centerville Kroger Marketplace, 1095 S. Main St.

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The Drone Express Monroe site was picked to serve as a hub for the manufacturing, testing and piloting of autonomous drones for commercial package delivery, a representative of the company told this media outlet.

Drone Express said last month it estimated a need to fill 50 to 100 full-time jobs as its 7,200 square-foot Monroe facility becomes fully operational.

Positions include those focused on manufacturing, mechanical engineering, software development and aviation.

Referred to as “The Hive,” the Monroe facility is expected to be one of the largest in Ohio dedicated to the manufacture, testing and piloting of drones for commercial use.

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