Case IH unveiled an autonomous or driverless tractor concept in the US this week.
The concept vehicle is a cabless Case IH tractor that can operate with a wide range of field implements and it is based on the existing Case IH Magnum tractor.
According to the manufacturers, the tractor was built to allow for remote monitoring of pre-programmed operations using a fully interactive interface.
The on-board system automatically takes into account the width of implements, plots and the most efficient paths depending on the terrain, obstructions and other machines working in the field.
Case IH says that the remote operator can supervise and adjust pathways via a desktop computer or tablet.
The concept tractor can also sense stationary or moving objects in its path, through the use of radar and onboard cameras, allowing the tractor to stop until the operator assigns a new path.
The vehicle will also come to a stop immediately if the GPS signal or position data is lost or the manual stop button is pushed.
Is there a need for self-driving tractors in the future?
Case IH Brand President, Andreas Klauser said that the concept was created to validate the technology and to collect customer feedback regarding their interest and the need for self driving products in the future.
It is very exciting for us to explore the possibilities that this technology can provide to our customers.
"We look forward to getting their input regarding this concept and how it can help them achieve new production efficiencies," he said.
Klauser said finding skilled labour during peak use seasons is a constant challenge for farmers and contractors.
“This autonomous tractor concept demonstrates how our customers and their employees could remotely monitor and control machines directly.
"This technology will offer our customers greater operational efficiencies for tasks such as tillage, planting, spraying and harvesting," he said.
Video: Check out the Case IH Autonomous tractor in action