Autoblog Minute

Tractors have the edge in autonomous tech over cars, for now

Autonomous technology will boost productivity.

Various automakers and tech giants may be working frantically to put autonomous cars on the road, but the fully-autonomous tractor concepts in the video above have more self-driving tech than anything around today. Thanks to LiDAR, multiple cameras, and GPS, farmers can control these tractors in a drone-like fashion with a tablet or from a desktop. Oh yeah, these tractors can also work in tandem with other tractors using V2V communications to travel together – something road cars won't have for a long, long time. Talk about setting the bar high.

Earlier this week, CNH Industrial unveiled a few autonomous tractor concepts at the annual Farm Progress Show in Boone, IA. Unlike road-going vehicles, the high-tech Autonomous Concept Vehicles don't have to deal with buildings, pedestrians, or traffic, but are still revolutionary in their own right. The farming industry already has a few autonomous machines, but the self-driving tractors would greatly increase production and allow farmers to be more efficient.

A tech-savvy farmer can turn these Autonomous Concept Vehicles from stationary objects to programmed machines in less than a minute. After inputting field boundary maps in to the control interface, the farmer plans the tractor's path and chooses its job from a pre-programmed menu, setting the autonomous tractor on its way. If the tractor senses an object in its path, it will come to a complete stop and wait for further guidance from the farmer.

The cabless, red and black tractor concept has a 419-horsepower engine and can reach a maximum speed of 31 mph. There's no word on how much the tractors will cost or when the autonomous technology will officially be released. As Bloomberg reports, self-driving tractors are facing numerous legal hurdles. Despite the legal issues, it looks like self-driving cars are a few years off from having the same tech as these fully-autonomous tractors.

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