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Increasing safety with tractor speak

Increasing safety with tractor speak

A European organization made a tractor and vehicle talk to each other

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Imagine a world where farm equipment and passenger vehicles can communicate.

Well, a first-of-its-kind demonstration in Sophia Antipolis, France, showed just that.

A John Deere 6250R tractor and BMW car exchanged information during the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Internet of Things Week 2018. The event runs from Oct. 22 to 26.

Engineers equipped the car and tractor with sophisticated sensors and receptors that can send and receive visual and sound signals up to 1 kilometre (0.62 miles) away.

The goal of the shared communication is to increase safety for farmers and other vehicle operators. Nearly 400 people in Europe die each year in accidents involving ag equipment. Last year, CEMA, which represents ag equipment manufacturers in Europe, pledged to reduce on-road fatalities by 50 percent by 2035.

Presumably, the increased warning of an oncoming car or tractor gives operators more time to slow down or maneuver their vehicles accordingly.

“The European Commission wanted to improve road safety between farm vehicles and other vehicles. John Deere responded to this demand by equipping its tractors with modems,” Christophe Gossard, head of European regulatory affairs with the company, said in a statement yesterday.

“But, more importantly, the different road-going vehicles and their means of communication had to be interoperable. So, it was only natural for us to join ETSI, the only European standardization organization with the necessary experience in these areas.” has reached out to John Deere and ETSI for more information on the safety development.

ETSI photo

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