John Deere tractors go totally autonomous
John Deere tractors go totally autonomous
8:08

John Deere tractors go totally autonomous

Autonomous Vehicles
Speaker 1: The new technology that we're showing is an autonomous tractor. Uh, and it's the first time that we've ever been able to take the operator outside of the tractor. Speaker 2: This is our all new John Deere, autonomous AR tractor and tillage tool. [00:00:30] This is the same tractor that a farmer could buy today. It's the same 24 30 chisel plow that they could go buy today from their local John Deere dealership. What we've added is the new, a ton autonomous components to complete the solution. So we've added stereo cameras on the front and rear of the tractor. And what you see is three stereo camera pairs on the front weight stack of our tractor. That gives us the view on the front half of the system. On the back of the tractor cab, there is three more stereo camera [00:01:00] pairs that completes our hundred 60 degree envelope of the system. And that really looks for exceptions in the field. As this autonomous system is running Speaker 2: Today, farmers are, are hands free on the steering wheel, as they do the job. What we're asking them to do now is take a step out of the cab and go do something else with their time. And ultimately then the way they'll control the machine monitor, the job will be through our operation [00:01:30] center, mobile application on a cell device. And then we're gonna enhance operation center mobile by allowing live video and images off the equipment. Uh, we'll send pictures of exceptions that are happening in the field. Uh, so if there's a tree branch that's down in front of the tractor, we'll send that specific image to a grower via notification on their cell phone so they can look at it and make operational decisions. And so this will be available to farmers later in 2022 to use in their operation [00:02:00] to autonomously till acres this fall. Speaker 3: The number one issue when I go visit farmers today is labor and finding the people to do the work because it's a seasonal job and more people are moving from rural areas to urban areas. And so there just aren't the people that we need in rural areas to grow the food that we all want to eat. And so I, I don't think this is about taking [00:02:30] away jobs. I think this is about filling a gap that's huge and every day is getting worse. It's always been an issue, but over the last 24 months, it's become an even bigger issue to get people that are skilled enough to do the work, to be there, uh, to execute it. So this isn't about replacing people. It's about filling a void. That's there today. Speaker 4: I am a fourth generation [00:03:00] farmer from blue earth, Minnesota. I farm approximately 2000 acres, corn and soybeans basically farm myself. And I do have some great part-time health, but they won't be with me forever. So we're always looking for more labor, more help, always a concern. To me it's been exciting just seeing the progress of it, cuz we started out, you know, as very basic just cameras on [00:03:30] the tractor and then seeing it progress to the next year to, uh, the tractor stopping itself for obstacles in the field to then the next next year, the tractor driving itself with a safety operator in the cab to now we're seeing it driving the field with no one in the cab was really exciting. Speaker 1: The autonomous system on the tractor is sort of separated sort of in rated in [00:04:00] the tractor, right? So the perception stack the cameras and the compute capability is added onto the tractor, but we had to do other things to the tractor to make it autonomous capable. Right? So for example, from a safety perspective, we wanna make sure that we have redundant ways of stopping the machine. So you can stop the machine with the traditional service brakes that are on the tractor. And then we also had to come up with a way to stop the, the machine with an additional method. We do that through the transmission on the tractor. So that's a way that the base tractor changed in order to make sure [00:04:30] that it was ready for autonomy. Speaker 4: So the nice thing about it is you can start this, feel the, the autonomous tractor going in the field. And then I can go back to my harvester while the tractor tills the fields. So it allows me to do two jobs at the same time. Speaker 4: The biggest things that surprise me are all [00:05:00] the things that an autonomous piece of machinery would encounter that I never thought of shadows would stop the tractor. I never dreamed that that would be an issue dirt CLOs in the field that had a different moisture level to 'em. So were a different color than what the tractor was used to seeing would stop the tractor to begin with. And John Deere's always aired on the side of caution, but things like that just really surprised me what it's gonna change mainly it's just gonna make my life a lot easier is what I [00:05:30] see. That's what I'm excited about. Speaker 1: Why now, uh, you know, there's sort of a big picture answer to that and, and it's really the technology today is, uh, there, there are kind of three dimensions to it that are coming together in the modern time that make it all possible, right? There's uh, significant, uh, connectivity that's available today. Not everywhere. [00:06:00] It's not ubiquitous, but connectivity is a prerequisite for autonomy for us. So that's one, one element there's, uh, computational capability that exists today that hasn't existed, you know, necessarily in the past. And we need that computational capability on the machine to do the, to crunch the math, right, the numbers, and make sure that the perception system's performing. And then the last one has really advanced algorithms, uh, machine learning algorithms that enable us to, to sort of sense these things and understand and make, uh, good decisions from the information, [00:06:30] the visual information that the cameras are providing the, and all of those things have sort of come together in the last, I would argue five years the technology possible. Speaker 1: So the technology's not inexpensive, right? You're, you're adding significant compute capability on the machine. Uh, obviously the, the cameras, et cetera. So it's a significant increase in terms of the overall cost of the vehicle we're trying to work through right now with the right business model there is, and how to share that cost with, with a grower relative to the value that it might create. So [00:07:00] that's actually part of the 2022 calendar year work. We not only are validating the, the technology so to speak, but we're also validating what the right pricing framework is relative to the value that it can provide to those growers that are gonna be in that, uh, program. In, in 22, Speaker 2: We'll have farmers signed up to partner and rent this system from Deere to use on their operation. We'll learn together on how things work and then we'll continue to roll out autonomy, [00:07:30] uh, in a broader geographical area, across more crops, with more implements, uh, and ultimately doing more jobs for farmers in the come Speaker 4: It's things that I'll get to, to do that. I thought I was gonna have to get to retire to enjoy well now I may be able to enjoy them sooner because I have an autonomous machinery.

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