1. Product Launches

John Deere Unveils Their Self Driving Tractor That Can Be Controlled With A Smartphone

Shivani Meena
Shivani Meena
Fully Autonomous 8R Tractor

In a time when farmers are under pressure to produce more with less land and skilled labor, John Deere has developed the driverless tractor that may contribute in smart farming . The vehicle, which will be shown at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show, combines the 8R tractor with a TruSet-enabled chisel plow, GPS navigation, and innovative technology.

"By 2050, the world population is predicted to expand from roughly 8 billion to almost 10 billion people, resulting in a 50% increase in global food demand and prices," says Jahmy Hindman, John Deere's chief technology officer. "Farmers must also consider variables such as shifting weather conditions, soil quality differences, and weed and pest management, all of which influence their ability to farm during important periods of the year."

The images are passed via a network that identifies each pixel in around 100 milliseconds and is equipped with six pairs of stereo cameras for 360° obstacle identification and distance computation. This is what decides whether the machine continues to run or quit. Furthermore, the machine constantly checks its position with a geofence to assure it is working where it is intended to be, with a precision of less than an inch.

"While in testing for the previous three years, the autonomous 8R tractor collected more than 50 million images," explains Willy Pell, VP of autonomy and new ventures at John Deere.

A farmer configures the machine for remote monitoring once it arrives in the field. A simple swipe on the John Deere Operations Center smartphone app activates the autonomous tractor. A farmer may leave the field to concentrate on other duties while the machine is working and yet watch it from a mobile device. A farmer may adjust speed, depths, and other parameters using live video, photos, data, and measurements.

If an anomaly or issue arises in the field, the farmer will be notified and will be able to make adjustments to ensure that the machine's performance is optimum. In just 24 hours, the autonomous 8R tractor can prepare 325 acres.

"The autonomous 8R tractor is doing something that was previously supposed to be unachievable," says Julian Sanchez, director, emerging technology for John Deere. "This machine is building a digital footprint of the farm."

According to Deere, the autonomous 8R tractor would be available soon this year.

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