John Deere has rolled out its first large-scale autonomous tractor.
“Delivering autonomy to the farm will be a monumental shift in how farms are ran going forward.”
Joe Leifer with John Deere tells Brownfield they took a stock 8R tractor and outfitted it with neural technology that builds on the company’s existing technology. “Like our stereo vision cameras, they give us 360-degree visibility around the tractor as well as new software,” Liefer says. “We can take that nearly autonomous ready 8R and in less than eight hours and covert it to a fully autonomous system that can go out and do fall tillage for farmers.”
He says farmers only transport the tractor to the field and configure boundaries – the rest is done from a mobile app. “You step out of the tractor, it’s going to and plan the route around the field to completely till the field including headland and including the ability to back up the implement and square off a corner.”
He says autonomy will help farmers feed a growing world with less skilled labor, navigate other challenges and understand new technology. “It will get both Deere comfortable with autonomy as well as growers comfortable with autonomy and then it really opens up the doors for new machine forms and new practices together as you decouple the farmer from sitting in the seat to do the job and then giving them the ability to manage their operation differently.”
Leifer says they haven’t released pricing and John Deere will release the tractor to a select number of growers in the Upper Midwest in the fall of ’22. He adds the technology is safe from cyberattacks.
Joe Leifer, product manage for autonomy with John Deere: