Deere Expects ‘Slow’ Rollout of Autonomous Tractors

A fully autonomous tractor is debuted during a John Deere live-streamed event at the CES 2022 trade show in Las Vegas. (Bridget Bennett/Bloomberg News)

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Deere & Co. is being cautious in its rollout of self-driving tractors, a technology which the agriculture industry thinks could revolutionize farming.

Chief Technology Officer Jahmy Hindman said the company still is assessing the volume of autonomous tractors it will bring to market this year, saying it could be between 10 and 50. The comments indicate the company is aware that it can’t afford to roll out the new tractors in case there still are bugs. The company unveiled the new tractor this week.

“We’re going to be slow on introduction,” Hindman said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “We want to make sure that we get this right.”

Deere introduced the technology on its iconic yellow-and-green tractor and said it can be controlled from a farmer’s mobile phone. It will be able to plant seeds, spray nutrients and harvest crops down to an inch of accuracy without anyone needing to touch the steering wheel. Shares are up nearly 10% this week.

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