«Previous    Next»
Driverless Tractors Ready For Market
You can give your tractor a driverless option with Auto-Drive from Autonomous Tractor Corporation (ATC). It is the latest version of ATC’s “driverless tractor”

concept we first featured 3 years ago in Vol. 36, No. 5. Named the Spirit, it was going to be a lower cost, driverless alternative t o conventional tractors. However, feedback from farmers started the company down a different road, says Terry Anderson,

vice president, System Design, ATC.

“Farmers told us they wanted a way to make their own tractor driverless with the option of driving it when they wanted,” says Anderson. “They also wanted a way to retrofit older tractors with new engines and drives, as well as better implement control.” ATC has addressed these requests with 3 separate products. Auto-Drive is designed to retrofit existing tractors sooperators can change to driverless (not just auto-steer) with the flick of a switch. It uses a combination laser and radio

positioning system to provide accurate location data. Its FieldSmart artificial intelligence software provides tractor system management. The operator quickly trains the tractor a driver. A failsafe system will shut down and notify the operator if it senses a problem.

E-Drive is ATC’s high horsepower tractor retrofi t. Designed for 200 to 600 hp tractors, the E-Drive package replaces the conventional engine, transmission, differential and axles.

It includes 1 or 2 diesel generators, 2 or 4 electric, variable speed, wheel motors as well as a joystick control and a system display. The joystick provides direction, speed and implement control.

“We estimate the E-Drive system is 10 to 20 percent more fuel efficient than a mechanized drive system and has a longer service life than the OEM system,” says Anderson.

IMS is ATC’s answer to the need for implement control. It is a monitoring, control and management system that allows an implement to be used with ATC’s Auto-Drive system and its FieldSmart AI software. It can be adapted to almost any implement, with the software used to detect problems.

Auto-Drive is the initial product to be introduced. It is beingn sold directly to farmers in beta packages for approximately$30,000.

“We will be hosting a field day this summer to launchthe final product and to introduce farmers to E-Drive and IMS,” says Anderson. “We are in discussions with a major equipment retailer for distribution and installation.”

Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Autonomous Tractor Corporation, 4302 13th Ave. S., Fargo, N. Dak. 58103 (ph 701 429-3964; spirit@autonomoustractor.com).

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
2015 - Volume #39, Issue #3