The John Deere company has shown at CES 2022 its first autonomous tractor. The new John Deere tractor is a modified version of the John Deere 8R tractor model, which is completely ready for mass production.
The American agricultural equipment manufacturer first demonstrated the autonomous tractor three years ago during CES 2019, but it only worked in fields marked with special ground sensors. This year, John Deere brought a full-fledged autonomous tractor to the exhibition, ready for mass production.
The offered approach includes a Deere 8R tractor, a chisel plow with TruSet support, a GPS system, and many of the latest technologies that John Deere has not yet disclosed. The John Deere autonomous tractor has six stereo cameras mounted above the cab with a 360-degree field of view. The image from the cameras is processed by a neural network, which classifies each pixel and determines whether the car can continue moving further or stop in front of an obstacle. In addition, the autonomous tractor constantly checks its position, making sure it works where it is supposed to. The positioning accuracy is 2.5 cm.
The John Deere autonomous tractor is controlled by a smartphone and John Deere Operations Center Mobile software. The manufacturer says that the farmer only needs to take the machine to the field, set it up for autonomous operation, and swipe from left to right to start the tractor. Then, while the autonomous tractor is running, the farmer can leave the field and monitor task progress and tractor status from a mobile device.
John Deere Operations Center Mobile provides real-time video access, images, data, and metrics and allows the farmer to adjust the speed, depth of plow immersion, and much more. In the event of any deviations in the quality of work or problems with the machine's condition, farmers will be notified remotely; then, the farmer will be able to make the necessary changes. The John Deere Operations Center is an online farm management system that provides access to farm information at any time and from any location.
The market for autonomous agricultural vehicles is growing every year. The earth is on the verge of a global food crisis, and the number of young people who want to work on the land is only decreasing.