Driverless tractors are a form of autonomous technology and these are considered as driverless as they operate without any intervention within the tractor. The concept of autonomous tractor technology is in the early stage of development and these tractors are a part of the initiative to increase automation in agriculture and farming. Driverless tractors make use of wireless technologies such as GPS for farming an agricultural plot, with the presence of a driver. The function of these tractors ranges from planting crops, collecting real-time data, taking pictures to monitoring harvest, all by means of remote control. However, the vehicle is also capable of working with the exiting non-remote tractors or in collaboration with other autonomous tractors in a fleet.
Autonomous tractor technologies build on the advancements and developments in agricultural technology and unmanned vehicles. Similar to semi-autonomous (supervised), autonomous and unmanned ground vehicles, driverless or autonomous tractors are programmed to avoid obstacles such as objects, animals and people in the field, determine speed, understand the position and navigate the vehicle, while performing the tasks. These tractors would have the ability of autonomous tillage for row-acre and broad-acre farming, seeding and planting. Thus, farming is expected to be revolutionized within the next decade, by the use of robots and self-driving tractors which can with ease, perform time-consuming tasks that are now performed by humans.
In the recent years, the agricultural industry has been increasingly interested in the development of automated technology such as driverless tractors, data collection, robotic milking system and aerial surveying of farm field. Rising labor costs coupled with the progress in self-driving technology for vehicles including object detection capabilities using multi-camera systems, lidar and radar technology is expected to positively influence the adoption of automated tractors globally. However, the successful growth of the market is dependent on the development of a highly cooperative and collaborative industry ecosystem.
The global driverless tractor s market can be segmented on the basis of components into sensors, onboard video cameras, radar, global positioning system (GPS) and others. The use of onboard video cameras, radar, lidar and sensors enables the tractor to sense moving or stationary obstructions in its path and stop by itself until the operator assigns a new path, being notified by visual or audio alerts. The vehicle is also designed to come to a halt immediately if the position data or GPS signal is lost or the manual button is pushed.
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Based on the application areas of driverless tractors, the market can be bifurcated into agriculture and others. The global driverless tractor market can be further classified geographically into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, South America and Middle East and Africa. Western Australia, the North American Great Plains and the Asian and European steppes offer their vast fields where this autonomous technology is expected to be utilized in the coming years.
The global driverless tractors market report provides the market share analysis of the key industry players, along with offering a strategic overview of their market positioning, business strategies and recent developments. Some of the leading players in the global driverless tractor market include John Deere, Autonomous Tractor Corporation, Fendt Corporation and Case IH among others.
In August 2016, Mahindra & Mahindra revealed its plans to participate in disruptive future of mobility and develop autonomous tractors. Since the driverless tractor technology is in the nascent stage of development, for sustainable growth in the market revenues, the key players in the global driverless tractor market are pursuing clear value propositions and innovative technology. The industry participants are increasingly focusing on the key areas that require infrastructural transformations in agriculture, instead of developing products for the niche agricultural issues.