Driverless farming

Deere’s autonomous tractor designed for large-scale farming operations

This year, Deere & Co. will begin producing a fully autonomous tractor designed for large-scale farming operations in its Iowa manufacturing facilities. And yes, it will be in John Deere green. 

The tractors will come equipped with six pairs of cameras that provide a 360-degree view of the machine’s surroundings. The images are fed to the onboard computer, where a convolutional neural network — an advanced form of artificial intelligence that analyzes images — classifies pixels in milliseconds, identifies objects in the tractor’s path, and determines whether the tractor should remain on course, steer around an obstacle or stop. 

To use the autonomous tractor, farmers transport the machine to a field and configure it for autonomous operation. Farmers will be able to monitor the autonomous tractor using an app that provides live video and continuous data on the tractor’s operations. 

While the machine is working, the farmer can leave the field to focus on other tasks while monitoring the machine’s status from their mobile device. Farmers can adjust speed, depth and more via the app. 

History of the tractor

Take a look at some of the major milestones and evolutions for the tractor since it was created.
Read a full timeline of the tractor from a past innovationIOWA magazine.