Adding new technology to a standard tractor, John Deere can convert it to perform driverless field tilling.
By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com
Nothing runs like a Deere, but robotic tractors now do.
John Deere said on January 4, 2022, that commercial delivery will begin of driverless tractor technology—not tractors—that can convert your tractor to till a field without a driver.
Initially, the company will deliver some 12 to 20 tractor tech packages before ramping up production. It is in the process of determining the best way to proceed: selling; offering a lease, or providing a subscription package to farmers to allows for future hardware and software upgrades.
According to John Deere, the addition of cameras and computers for automated tilling will be installed on a farmer’s existing tractor in just one day.
Stereo cameras are placed in the front and back of the tractor enabling a farm operator to see what the tractor sees by their own smartphone app.
After taking the tractor to the requisite field, a simple swipe on the smartphone screen will send the tractor on its pre-programmed path, as its vision system monitors the tiller.
The tiller will have added mirrors on the shanks that churns the field. According to John Deere, if a shank hits a rock and is tipped up, the operator will be able to see it as there will be a change in the mirror’s reflection visible on the smartphone.
The company has been testing its driverless technology for about four years, with spraying technology one of its next projects.