Case IH launches concept vehicle at farm progress show

Case IH concept vehicle 1Although the autonomous concept vehicle was developed in the form of a cabless tractor, Case IH executives explained that combines or other equipment will operate on the same technology. (Image Source: Case IH)Case IH unveiled an autonomous concept vehicle, cabless Case IH row crop tractor, at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa

The cabless Case IH row crop tractor can operate autonomously with a wide range of field implements, the company said. The concept was created to validate the technology and to collect customer feedback regarding their interest and need for future autonomous products for their operations.

According to Case IH, the vehicle is built with a fully interactive interface to allow for remote monitoring of pre-programmed operations. The onboard system automatically accounts for implement widths and plots the most efficient paths depending on the terrain, obstructions and other machines in use in the same field. The remote operator can supervise and adjust pathways via a desktop computer or portable tablet interface.

“In many parts of the world, finding skilled labour during peak use seasons is a constant challenge for our customers,” said Case IH brand president Andreas Klauser at the launch. “While we offer auto-steering and telematics on our equipment today for remote management of farm machinery and employees, 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 added that this was an exciting opportunity for the company to explore the possibilities that this technology can provide to its customers.

The vehicle uses radar, lidar (light imaging, detection, and ranging) and onboard video cameras to sense stationary or moving obstacles in its path and will stop on its own until the operator, notified by audio and visual alerts, assigns a new path. The vehicle will also stop immediately if GPS signal or position data is lost, or if the manual stop button is pushed. Machine tasks can also be modified in real time with via remote interface or automatic weather warnings.

Case IH and CNH industrial’s innovation group based the cabless autonomous concept on an existing Case IH Magnum tractor.

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