Smart tractors revolution of the agricultural world.

Farmers face labor shortages, climate change, and environmental protection as they struggle to feed the growing global population. In this context, tractor builders are developing a new generation of autonomous machines.

In the CES 2022, John Deere introduced the 8R tractor that combines the tractor, a plow, a GPS, and new technologies that allow the farmer to control everything from his smartphone. The farmer doesn't need to be in the cabin or the field.

Once the tractor is in the field, the farmer must walk around it to verify the components are ready before starting it from the smartphone.

The 8R smart tractor has twelve cameras and artificial intelligence capabilities. The machine stops on its own if it detects an obstacle and sends a signal to receive assistance.

It will be available in North America later this year, according to the technological director of the company, Jahmy Hindman, shortly after the presentation of the tractor at CES, the annual electronics show that opened on Wednesday in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Versions for spreading fertilizer or sowing will come later; for the harvests, on the other hand, it is still a little complicated. The manufacturer hasn't released the prices.

For almost 20 years, farmers have used steering assistance functions thanks to global positioning satellite technology to make straighter lines in the fields, among other capabilities, but this is a game-changer.

Autonomous tractors are an important step in the movement of precision agriculture that combines computers, data gathering, satellite imagery and artificial intelligence as part of the strategic planning to improve the output of a farm.

These resources are the key to produce more crops with less environmental impact and effort. We can only speculate how much these autonomous tractors will cost but the regular models are over $600,000 USD.

John Deere declared that they would offer an automation system that will work with other tractor models, and they also mentioned a subscription plan but with no further details as to the amount of the investment the farmers must make.

There are issues to be solved in the future like what happens to the data the tractors will gather from the farmer’s activities since everything gets logged and uploaded to the cloud.

 One thing is for certain, this technology is necessary for the future of agriculture.

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