One such possibility is process optimization, for example: an assistance system detects cutting edges, field borders, and swath – i.e. the rows of fallen crops – and automatically keeps the tractor on track. This makes the system and the process more efficient and easier for the driver. And the ride itself is safer thanks to the system’s aforementioned all-round view in the tractor. The farmer can still see what’s going on around the vehicle through the tractor’s large windows, but can also easily follow along using a practical tablet PC in the driver cabin. While working out on the field, the tractor “learns” the route taken and stores it for later use. This means that after completing its first tour, the tractor can work the field automatically, without even needing a driver. Thanks to person and object detection, the system constantly monitors safety as it moves through its surroundings.
Who might be interested in intelligent tractors like this prototype? “This technology will particularly make work easier for farming operations with large farmlands, such as those found in North and South America, for example,” says Mr. Mohr. Farms in the United States have cropland that stretches over 430 acres on average, while the average farm in Europe has less than 30 acres. And the time and labor cost savings are even higher on megafarms like those often found in Russia, Brazil, and the US. But even smaller farms can benefit from the concept tractor’s features, however. One that is particularly practical is the “Follow me” feature. With this activated, the tractor autonomously follows another tractor driving ahead of it. If both vehicles are equipped with different tools, this can be used to save time by completing two different steps while traveling the route only once, for example.