John Deere brings farming into the future with self-driving equipment
Autonomous vehicles are just coming online with companies like Uber and Google building their own self-driving cars but Did you know it's been common practice in the agricultural world?
Yeah, John Deere's been making autonomous tractors for years now.
And I've come here to the heartland to find out how that equipment is helping farmers become better and more efficient.
So I'm here at the John Deere Test Farm facility with my dude Marcus.
He's driving this thing for me cuz they pretty much won't let me behind the wheel which is probably a good thing.
So what is this that we're in?
We're in a combine.
It is a model S670.
Okay, what does a combine do?
Any small grains
Okay and what's kind of cool about this is that this vehicle will drive itself.
Correct, with an operator in the set we can use either a pre-determined guidance line or what they call row sense.
Which is when you're in the middle of a corn field, we can feel where the corn is at and then it'll drive it for us.
And so with the GPS, it can
It knows where you are down to an inch, so it knows exactly-
So it knows exactly where you're gonna be within a row.
So you're not like spraying a twice.
Or you're not harvesting a row twice.
It's making everything be very, very precise, and more efficient.
You're gonna come behind this.
And once we get it in my
In my zone here you'll be able to-
There he is.
Okay, so he's almost to the zone.
Once he's in the zone he'll hit his resume button and he's synced up with us.
Okay, my gosh he's following you and his hands are not on the wheel.
So right now no foot on
On any pedal, you're like this.
Look ma, no hands!
Now, does this control throttle?
We're both auto-tracking Okay.
He's gonna stay that same distance from me as we go.
How successful is this technology to a farmer?
It's available to everybody.
Not only the latest and greatest technology have the latest and greatest.
But also making it available to older specs or older models.
And non John Deere models as well.
Cuz not everybody, as much as we wanna say, not every
My buddy's got all John Deere equipment, we know that.
So we made it so so that you could take this technology and put it in all your other equipment--
And still maintain the same connectivity with your fleet, than you would if you had an all green fleet or an all brand new set of equipment.
I think the most surprising thing I learned during my time out here is that farmers are a bunch of nerds.
There is so much more technology that goes into this equipment than I ever dreamed possible.
And as the agricultural autonomy world gets better and the car autonomy world gets better, it'll be interesting to see how these two worlds can share technology and make the future better for everyone.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some acres to plow.
That's what I'm talking about.
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