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Thread: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

  1. #1
    Clive
    Guest

    How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

    It seems to me that all the tech is there and mostly at affordable / commercially viable prices ???

    JD's Itec pro gets close and the Fendt system with follow and lead tractor even closer then there is stuff like the driveless Kinze chaser bin project etc

    So when do you think we will see tractors working without drivers on UK farms ? Should tractor drivers start to fear for their jobs ??

  2. #2
    drifter
    Guest

    Re: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

    Think we are a way off yet Clive, agreed with the likes of itec pro all the driver has to do is sit there but can a driverless tractor sort out problems, broken shear bolt, blockages etc, if we get as far as driverless spanners, hammers and spades then yes. I'm sure the boffins could be thinking of better things to spend their research money on, like making isobus work the way it is meant to!

  3. #3
    y fan wen
    Guest

    Re: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

    I can imagine a set of tractors working in the field,going through the ploughing, harrowing, discing etc that you dirt farmers have to do, with one driver in a supervisor role.
    Google's experiments have reached:

    In August 2012, the team announced that they have completed over 300,000 autonomous-driving miles accident-free, typically have about a dozen cars on the road at any given time, and are starting to test them with single drivers instead of in pairs.[7] Three U.S. states have passed laws permitting driverless cars, as of September 2012: Nevada, Florida and California.

  4. #4
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

    Quote Originally Posted by drifter View Post
    Think we are a way off yet Clive, agreed with the likes of itec pro all the driver has to do is sit there but can a driverless tractor sort out problems, broken shear bolt, blockages etc, if we get as far as driverless spanners, hammers and spades then yes. I'm sure the boffins could be thinking of better things to spend their research money on, like making isobus work the way it is meant to!
    agree on most operations but there are surely some more straight forward and repetitive jobs that are more maintenance free like turf farms for example constantly mowing and rolling maybe ??

  5. #5
    hollister
    Guest

    Re: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

    with telematics the tractor could alert a mechanic who is on standby for the farm to any problem.

  6. #6
    FSP
    Guest

    Re: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

    The technology is all there and has been for a long time. Back in the mid/late '90s Renault developed a driveless tractor which used GPS and a tripod mounted base unit to know where it was, which it demonstrated using a drill at Innovagri in France.

    The problem then and still the same now, is persuading elf & safety that a tractor operating by itself will be perfectly safe and not cause any misshaps ........ its bad enough when there is someone sat in the seat!

  7. #7
    gmc_contracts
    Guest

    Re: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

    Quote Originally Posted by FSP View Post
    The problem then and still the same now, is persuading elf & safety that a tractor operating by itself will be perfectly safe and not cause any misshaps ........ its bad enough when there is someone sat in the seat!
    Agree, this is the one major factor holding them back, the fact that a tractor could potentially be left to its own devices, bugger up and drive through a hedge onto a busy road as an example. Bit like those Lely Juno things that push up the feed and sometimes go walkabout from the barn.

  8. #8
    anpoterrier
    Guest

    Re: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

    Quote Originally Posted by hollister View Post
    with telematics the tractor could alert a mechanic who is on standby for the farm to any problem.
    arn't some like that naw with a muppet and a phone

  9. #9
    fergyfarmer
    Guest

    Re: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

    Not verrrrrry far away at all.

    Simple jobs such as powerharrowing for example tractor drives itself, turns its self around at the end and headland management started automatically.

    The only thing thats needed is a speed sensor on the p/h. If this differs from set limit, such as slip clutch or shearbolt smashed, machine stops and switches off.

    All very simple in a digital world.

    A very simple code would be as follows:

    oil pressures and diesel level ok?
    Recieving gps signal?
    guidence and headland operations active (includ turning around)?
    powerharrow speed sensor in set limit?

    If the answer to any of the above is NO machine becomes stationary by means of clutch switch wiring.

    If machine becomes stationary, and the answers to the top or bottom question is no, machine shuts down via fuel valve and informs operator via SMS.


    Its been happening on things such as irriagtors for several years now!


    FF

  10. #10
    JD Andrew
    Guest

    Re: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

    It could happen tomorrow, the technology is there. The problem is safety.

  11. #11
    anpoterrier
    Guest

    Re: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

    Quote Originally Posted by fergyfarmer View Post
    Not verrrrrry far away at all.

    Simple jobs such as powerharrowing for example tractor drives itself, turns its self around at the end and headland management started automatically.

    The only thing thats needed is a speed sensor on the p/h. If this differs from set limit, such as slip clutch or shearbolt smashed, machine stops and switches off.

    All very simple in a digital world.

    A very simple code would be as follows:

    oil pressures and diesel level ok?
    Recieving gps signal?
    guidence and headland operations active (includ turning around)?
    powerharrow speed sensor in set limit?

    If the answer to any of the above is NO machine becomes stationary by means of clutch switch wiring.

    If machine becomes stationary, and the answers to the top or bottom question is no, machine shuts down via fuel valve and informs operator via SMS.


    Its been happening on things such as irriagtors for several years now!


    FF
    and still not very reliable.

  12. #12
    Agritech_Gizmo
    Guest

    Re: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

    Clive,

    I'm currently travelling around the world researching this very project as part of my Nuffield Scholarship....you will just have to attend the conference next year for my findings :P

    In all seriousness there are so many paradigms and ideas there is no lead solution as of yet. I have visited all the major manufacturers and they all have projects underway at various stages. If you ignore the safety aspects then a product could be launched today by most but this is the most irresponsible and most certain way to stop further developments...imagine what would happen to future development if a robotic tractor caused an accident at early stages...a combination of video and laser mixed with lots of sensors will solve this problem.

    Secondly the actual 'tractor' will change into something new, reducing weight and power usage...unfortunetly the 'major' manufacturers are just bolting systems onto existing machines, which isn't a solution its a feature and certainly not sustainable.....in my opinion the rise of new manufacturers will prevail.

    So in answer to your question....not as long as you would think, in fact before I present at the conference in 2013 'something' will be available.

  13. #13
    CeeJay
    Guest

    Re: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agritech_Gizmo View Post
    Clive,

    I'm currently travelling around the world researching this very project as part of my Nuffield Scholarship....you will just have to attend the conference next year for my findings :P

    In all seriousness there are so many paradigms and ideas there is no lead solution as of yet. I have visited all the major manufacturers and they all have projects underway at various stages. If you ignore the safety aspects then a product could be launched today by most but this is the most irresponsible and most certain way to stop further developments...imagine what would happen to future development if a robotic tractor caused an accident at early stages...a combination of video and laser mixed with lots of sensors will solve this problem.

    Secondly the actual 'tractor' will change into something new, reducing weight and power usage...unfortunetly the 'major' manufacturers are just bolting systems onto existing machines, which isn't a solution its a feature and certainly not sustainable.....in my opinion the rise of new manufacturers will prevail.

    So in answer to your question....not as long as you would think, in fact before I present at the conference in 2013 'something' will be available.
    I think I first saw driverless pallet trucks in big warehouses 20 years ago... Go look there...

    I remember walking in a factory with driverless pallet trucks driving around supplying raw material to industrial machines automatically. If someone stepped in front, they would stop automagically.

    But.. It is much more fun to invent something new all by yourself. Not invented here has been a classic in any industry...

  14. #14
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Agritech_Gizmo View Post
    Clive,

    I'm currently travelling around the world researching this very project as part of my Nuffield Scholarship....you will just have to attend the conference next year for my findings :P

    In all seriousness there are so many paradigms and ideas there is no lead solution as of yet. I have visited all the major manufacturers and they all have projects underway at various stages. If you ignore the safety aspects then a product could be launched today by most but this is the most irresponsible and most certain way to stop further developments...imagine what would happen to future development if a robotic tractor caused an accident at early stages...a combination of video and laser mixed with lots of sensors will solve this problem.

    Secondly the actual 'tractor' will change into something new, reducing weight and power usage...unfortunetly the 'major' manufacturers are just bolting systems onto existing machines, which isn't a solution its a feature and certainly not sustainable.....in my opinion the rise of new manufacturers will prevail.

    So in answer to your question....not as long as you would think, in fact before I present at the conference in 2013 'something' will be available.
    Interesting really - I can certainly see that the driver-less tractor doesn't need to look like the machines we use today or be as big or powerful dues to its ability to work 24/7

    I guess all the big manufactures are developing the new bred of tractors now that we will all be using in maybe 10 years time

  15. #15
    Lump Hammer
    Guest

    Re: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?


  16. #16
    Clive
    Guest

    Re: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

    have seen the bin before but is this stuff available yet as in can we buy it ??

  17. #17
    fred
    Guest

    Re: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

    I wonder whether my 7 year old son will actually use a tractor in the field d, my guess is he will , but doing what ?

    I know of a turf farm in Germany that has a driverless tractor for mowing, cutting and shifting turf,

    I would envisage smaller drone tractors, with the ability to run 24 hours a day .

    But the question we need to ask is will life be boring with no regular labour,

  18. #18
    Agritech_Gizmo
    Guest

    Re: How many years away are commercial driverless tractors ?

    Quote Originally Posted by fred View Post
    But the question we need to ask is will life be boring with no regular labour
    Also ask yourself if your son will be interested in farming if he has seen you working 60+ hours a week?

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