During January’s CES 2022 show, agriculture equipment maker John Deere announced a major advancement for precision farming in the form of a self-driving autonomous tractor. The fully autonomous driverless machine combines Deere’s 8R tractor, its TruSet tillage technology coupled with a chisel plow, GPS guidance, and other advanced technologies, including six pairs of stereo cameras and a deep neural network that classifies each pixel of each image in 100 milliseconds. This determines if the machine continues to move or stops when an obstacle is detected.
Image: John Deere
“Through sensors and robotics we’ve already automated many parts,” said Deanna Kovar, John Deere’s vice president of the production and precision Ag business, during the press conference.
“The autonomous tractor will open so many doors for agriculture. Most autonomous vehicles, like cars, focus on getting from point a to point b safely. In agriculture it’s more than moving from one spot to another. The tractors in the field have to follow a precise path and do a specific job. The autonomous 8R tractor is one giant robot, performing its job with accuracy and without human intervention. It’s the next revolution in agriculture.”