John Deere unveils fully autonomous 8R tractor

From staff reports

Equipment manufacturer John Deere on Tuesday announced it is ready to go to full-scale production with its first fully autonomous tractor.

The Deere 8R tractor features a TruSet-enabled chisel plow, GPS guidance system and new advanced technologies, the company said during a news conference at CES 2022. The fully autonomous 8R is expected to be available to farmers later this year.

 The tractor has six pairs of stereo cameras, which enables 360-degree obstacle detection and the calculation of distance. Images captured by the cameras are passed through a deep neural network that classifies each pixel in about 100 milliseconds and determines if the machine should continue to move or stop, depending on if an obstacle is detected.

The tractor also continuously checks its position relative to a geofence, ensuring that it remains precisely on course, and is within less than an inch of accuracy.

The company touted the tractor’s ease of use, saying that to use the autonomous 8R, “farmers only need to transport the machine to a field and configure it for autonomous operation. Using John Deere Operations Center Mobile, they can swipe from left to right to start the machine.”

Farmers can monitor the machine’s status from their mobile device. John Deere Operations Center Mobile provides access to live video, images, data and metrics, and allows a farmer to adjust speed, depth and more.

The technology alerts farmers to job quality anomalies or machine health issues that can be remotely addressed.

Click here to watch the full news conference:

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