The Los Angeles Times reports that Walgreen is working with FedEx and Google-owned Wing to begin piloting a drone delivery program in Christiansburg, Virginia, next month.

According to the story, "The companies aim to go beyond the small-scale delivery demonstrations that have occurred so far in the U.S., typically in controlled environments conducted over short ranges … The demonstration project is being conducted near the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and is associated with the Mid-Atlantic Partnership, one of the groups selected by the U.S. government as testing entities for drone commerce. While demand grows for the use of drones to deliver goods and perform many industrial functions, the Federal Aviation Administration is still in the process of developing regulations to govern them."

The Times writes that "The announcement is a sign of the rapid maturation of the drone industry, as multiple titans of industry race to find their place in what could become a transforming technology. At the same time, the U.S. government hasn’t created a regulatory structure or formal safety standards for small, low-flying drone operations, so such demonstrations continue to be conducted using waivers to existing rules."

KC's View: "Rapid maturation" is right. Wasn't that long ago that drone deliveries seemed far out in the future, and now it appears to be almost here.

It reminds me of what is called Dornbusch's Law (named after economist Rudy Dornbusch): "Crises take longer to arrive than you can possibly imagine, but when they do come, they happen faster than you can possibly imagine."