This year at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) John Deere pulled out all the stops, debuting a fully autonomous tractor that’s ready for large-scale production. The machine will combine Deere’s 8R tractor, TruSet-enabled chisel plow, GPS guidance system, and new advanced technologies. The autonomous tractor will be available to farmers later this year.
The global population is expected to grow from 8 billion to nearly 10 billion people by 2050, therefore increasing the global food demand by 50%. The autonomous tractor serves a specific purpose: feeding the world. Farmers hold the responsibility to feed this growing population with less available land and skilled labor while working through the variables inherent in farming, like changing weather conditions and climate variations in soil quality and the presence of weeds and pests. All of these factors impact the farmers ability to farm during some of the most critical times of the year.
What can you look for in the new fully autonomous tractor? Details are listed below:
Six pairs of stereo cameras, which enables 360-degree obstacle detection and the calculation of distance
Images captured by the cameras are passed through a deep neural network that classifies each pixel in approximately 100 milliseconds and will determine if the machine continues to move or stops, depending on if and obstacle is detected
The autonomous tractor is also continuously checking its position relative to a geofence, ensuring it is operating where it is supposed to, and is within less than an inch of accuracy
For farmers to use the autonomous tractor they only need to transport the machine to a field and configure it for autonomous operation. Utilizing the John Deere Operations Center Mobile, farmers can swipe from left to right to start the machine. While the machine is working the farmer can leave the field to focus on other tasks, while monitoring the machine’s status from their mobile device.
The John Deere Operation Center Mobile provides access to live video, images, data and metrics, and allows a farmer to adjust speed, depth and more. In the event of any job quality anomalies or machine health issues, farmers will be notified remotely and can make adjustments to optimize the performance of the machine.
The full press conference and more information about the fully autonomous tractor can be found on the John Deere CES Microsite.