Driverless tractors now a reality as New Holland unveils the future
New Holland has unveiled an unmanned tractor that can be operated from mobile devices
The driverless tractor is a concept that has been talked about for years.
But one man's dream is another man's nightmare, and plenty of proud Irish tractor drivers would see an autonomous tractor fall firmly into the latter category.
Time waits for no man, however, and the driverless tractor concept got one step closer last week with the unveiling at the Farm Progress Show in the United States of a CNH-built concept autonomous tractor called "NH Drive" that can perform a wide range of farming tasks, day and night.
At first glance, the tractor might look like a normal standard machine, but once the first images of the promo video appeared everyone understood they were witnessing a glimpse into the future of farming, one that could feature fully autonomous machinery.
The NH Drive tractor is an unmanned vehicle that is fully autonomous and can be monitored and controlled via a desktop computer or via a portable tablet interface.
This enables farmers to access tractor and implement data, wherever they are, from different locations, while checking fields from the comfort of their home.
A path-plotting screen shows the tractor's progress, another shows its live camera feed providing the user with up to four real time views (two front and two rear).
A further screen enables monitoring and modification of key machine and implement parameters such as engine speed, fuel levels and implement settings, including seeding rate or coulter downforce.