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John Deere announces fully autonomous tractor, expected on sale in 2022

Officials with the company announced the new tractor during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS — John Deere announced a fully autonomous tractor during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Jan. 4.

The tractor, which can function without a driver in the seat, is a John Deere 8R Tractor with added camera systems, GPS guidance system and TruSet-enabled chisel plow, and onboard computers to process images.

Officials with the company say the new tractor helps people who would normally be stuck in the seat for hours each day focus on other jobs around the farm, especially as skilled labor becomes harder to find.

The tractor's six sets of stereo cameras give the tractor 360-degree obstacle detection and the ability to calculate distance.

The company says images captured by the cameras are passed through a deep neural network that determines if the machine continues to move or stops, depending on if an obstacle is detected.

The autonomous tractor also continuously checks its position relative to a geofence, ensuring it is operating where it is supposed to, officials say the tracking is within less than an inch of accuracy.

After farmers transport the tractor to a field and set it up for autonomous use, they can swipe a slider on the phone app to start the machine.

Through the app, "John Deere Operations Center Mobile," farmers can also monitor their tractor, live video from its cameras, data and metrics, adjust the speed of the tractor, depth of the plow, and more, according to company.

Credit: John Deere

Officials with the company say the tractor will be available for purchase later in 2022.

To view the full press conference, and for more information on the tractor, click here.

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