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John Deere Readies Fully Autonomous Tractor for Large-Scale Production

JohnDeereAutoTractor400x275

January 4, 2022

John Deere has announced a fully autonomous tractor that is ready for large-scale production. The new system combines Deere’s 8R Tractor, TruSet-enabled chisel plow, GPS guidance system and other advanced technologies. The company said the tractor will be available to farmers later this year.

The new tractor has six pairs of stereo cameras, enabling 360-degree obstacle detection and the calculation of distance. Images captured by the tractor’s camera are sent through a deep neural network, which classifies each pixel in approximately 100 milliseconds, determining if the machine continues to move or stops, depending on whether an obstacle is detected. Deere said the tractor also continuously checks its position relative to a geofence, ensuring that it operates where it is supposed to, with accuracy within less than an inch.

To use the tractor, farmers need to transport the machine to a field, and configure it for autonomous operation. Using the John Deere Operations Center Mobile, a farmer can swipe from left to right to start the machine, and then leave the field to focus on other tasks, while monitoring the machine from their mobile device. The Operations Center Mobile provides access to live video, images, data, and metrics, letting farmers adjust the speed, depth, and more. John Deere said that in the event of any anomalies or machine-health issues, farmers can be notified remotely to make adjustments to optimize performance.

The company said the tractor will help farmers feed the world, as the global population grows to an expected 10 billion people by 2050, increasing the global food demand by 50%. Farmers need to do this with less available land and skilled labor, as well as changing weather conditions and climate.

More details on the tractor, which was launched at CES 2022, can be found at this John Deere microsite.

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