We have already heard about autonomous cars, city coaches and trucks. It will come as no surprise that another driverless means of transport has recently joined the race, the driverless tractor. That’s right, an autonomous farm tractor that plants, monitors crops and harvests without a driver.
The tractor was developed by Case IH and debuted during Iowa’s Farm Progress Show earlier this week. Their so-called Autonomous Concept Vehicle is actually remotely controlled via an app on a tablet computer. The machine can be operated both manned or unmanned, or can work together with other driverless tractors as part of a fleet.
The futuristic tractor is equipped with cameras, radar, GPS and includes obstacle detection capabilities for safety hazards. With a maximum speed of 50 kilometers per hour, the autonomous tractor transfers from one field to another. However, just like driverless cars, due to legal implications it could take another three years before these vehicles will hit the market.
Many tractors already offer automatic steering systems, but this ‘species’ has something more. The driverless tractor is – along the lines of bots and drones – yet another system to be added to the list of emerging agricultural technologies. Even though it might resemble a quad bike on steroids, it could serve high potential to the future of farming.