Start-Up Spotlight: First Cloud-based Platform for Driverless Tractors Released by Smart Ag
Iowa-based Smart Ag has announced it is releasing, on a limited basis, the first application for its AutoCart. This software fully automates a grain cart tractor, which provides you assistance during the demanding harvest season. The technology, says Colin Hurd, will allow you to automate your existing equipment and maximize its efficiency and capacity – regardless of manufacturer.
“Farming should no longer be defined by what the equipment industry decides is better or more profitable. We believe agriculture is best when you have choices,” says Hurd, who is the founder and CEO of Smart Ag. “The best way to improve your operational capacity is to enable you to use automation and driverless technology on your farm. With the correct technology and knowledge, you can do the seemingly impossible.”
AutoCart, along with the tractor automation kit, is a plug-and-play system that allows you to set staging and unloading locations in a field, adjust speed, monitor location, and command the grain cart to sync precisely to the speed and direction of the combine. After it is loaded, the AutoCart automatically returns to an unloading point elsewhere in the field.
According to Hurd, Smart Ag’s driverless tractor technology “empowers you to leave the cab” and complete your operations faster and with less labor than ever before. “AutoCart performs the same function as a driver, only it is more profitable, more reliable, and safer,” he adds. “Our technology has the potential to bring significant change to U.S. crop production through improved productivity, profitability, and safety.”
Over two years in development, Smart Ag recently completed comprehensive beta testing on Midwest farms during corn and soybean harvest. Kyle Mehmen’s fifth-generation MBS Family Farms near Plainfield, Iowa, was one of those test sites.
“The AutoCart system performed extremely well for us during our corn harvest, and I fully expect it to be a game changer for agriculture,” he says. “These are the kinds of technologies that we’re going to adopt on our farm one way or the other. It’s simply a matter of when and which ones.”
The cost of the system, Hurd says, is comparable to retrofitting a sprayer or planter with precision ag technology. AutoCart is available in a limited quantity in 2018. Visit Smart-Ag.com to learn more.