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Self-driving vehicles are moving off the roads and onto the fields.
Deere & Co., the largest farm equipment manufacturer in the world, unveiled a fully autonomous tractor on Jan. 4, propelling it past rivals in the tech space.
The company introduced the technology on its iconic 8 series tractor, which it says can be controlled from farmers’ mobile phones. Humans will need to transport the machine to a field and configure it for an autonomous run, but then they can let the tractor plant seeds, spray nutrients and harvest crops down to one inch of accuracy without touching a steering wheel, the company said.
The announcement, made at CES 2022, thrusts Moline, Ill.-based Deere further into so-called precision agriculture as a key way for farmers to improve harvests without using more labor. The autonomous tractor will be available for purchase later this year.
“Without this self-driving technology, farming is incredibly exhausting mentally and physically,” Jahmy Hindman, Deere’s chief technology officer, said during a CES presentation in Las Vegas. “You’ll find some of the most advanced robotic machines are being used on the farm to feed the world.”
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