UNVEILED last year at the Farm Progress Show in the United States, the New Holland NHDrive concept autonomous tractor is a driverless machine, which can perform a wide range of farming tasks, day and night.
The Australian market is well known for its early adoption of innovation so it is natural that this technology would be showcased throughout Australia during peak field day season.
New Holland national product manager Tony Peters said the tractor would be displayed at AgQuip, Henty, Yorke Peninsula and Elmore Field Days.
“We are eager to get the tractor in front of as many people as possible to not only showcase the technology, but provide an insight into the brand’s focus for the future as part of our commitment to sustainability and efficiency,” Mr Peters said.
The tractor has the capacity to reach the field autonomously via private on-farm tracks, working together with other autonomous or traditional operator-controlled machines and courtesy of the cab New Holland’s NHDrive concept, the autonomous tractor can still be driven, ensuring maximum flexibility for the operator.
The T8 tractor looks like any other standard tractor.
But as attendees at the field days this year will see, the tractor offers incredible operational capacities.
It was developed by CNH Industrial in collaboration with its long-standing technology provider Autonomous Solutions Incorporated (ASI), a Utah-based company that is the industry leader in off-road autonomous solutions.
According to Mr Peters, the New Holland NHDrive autonomous 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,” Mr Peters said.
“It facilitates right-time decision-making to enhance operational efficiency and productivity and furthermore, farmers will maintain full control and ownership of their data.”
A path-plotting screen shows the tractor’s progress, while 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 down force.
The route to the field can also be planned, should this involve private roads or tracks.