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Case IH Unveils Autonomous Concept Tractor

Would you be willing to invest in a completely autonomous tractor? With the unveiling of its Autonomous Concept Tractor, it's a question Case IH wants farmers to answer.

“We just want to know how much interest producers have in these autonomous features, and what else they would like to see from us,” says Leo Bose, Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) marketing manager. “It’s not a product launch by any means. But it could certainly lead to one, or several, down the road.”

Case IH and CNH Industrial’s Innovation Group based the cabless concept on an existing Magnum tractor with reimagined styling. It features a fully interactive interface, which allows an operator to remotely monitor preprogrammed operations. The onboard system automatically accounts for implement widths and plots the most efficient paths depending on the terrain, obstructions and other machines in use in the same field. The operator can supervise and adjust the paths remotely via a desktop computer or portable tablet interface.

“An autonomous tractor like this could seamlessly integrate into an existing farm machinery fleet, with minimal operational changes,” says Bose. “Multiple autonomous vehicles could be put to work in one field or separate fields, on the same tasks or consecutive ones. It could allow a person working with no employees to operate multiple tractors, or could complement very large operations that have challenges finding ample skilled workers.”

Safety first

Through the use of radar, LiDAR and onboard video cameras, the vehicle can sense stationary or moving obstacles in its path and will stop on its own until the operator, notified by audio and visual alerts, assigns a new path. The vehicle will also stop immediately if the GPS signal or position data is lost, or if the manual stop button is pushed. Machine tasks can also be modified in real time with remote interface or automatic weather warnings.

CNH Industrial collaborated with Autonomous Solutions Incorporated, ASI, a Utah-based company, in the development of this concept autonomous technology. 

The focus on future innovations that help farmers achieve high-efficiency farming practices is part of Case’s new “Rethink Productivity” tagline.

“We’re officially adopting ‘Rethink Productivity’ as our North American brand tagline because it embodies both our approach to equipment innovation and our customers’ approach to their operations,” says Tom Dean, marketing director for Case IH North America. “In today’s ag economy, producers know they must focus on achieving the highest level of efficiency if they want to grow and succeed. That’s why we are intensifying our focus on the combination of advanced technologies and agronomic design in the pursuit of High-Efficiency Farming.”

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