Developed at Mahindra Research Valley in Chennai, Mahindra’s driverless tractor technology aims to reinvent farm mechanisation.
Electrification and automation are the two biggest driving forces of the automotive industry presently, and these are bound to reinvent our perception of an automobile in the foreseeable future. Injecting the idea of autonomous driving into the farming sector - Mahindra has showcased India’s first autonomous tractor.
According to Mahindra’s claims, its new driverless tractor can self-perform some unique tasks. The GPS enabled features ensure that the vehicle travels in a straight line and automatically orients itself along adjacent rows without any steering input. There are also features in the tractor that automatically lift the work tool from the ground at the end of a row, and lower the tool after the tractor has oriented itself for operation at the next row.
The tractor is also equipped with certain safety features in case of a misjudgement of the on-board computers. This includes a tablet control interface that enables the farmer to program various inputs needed to farm efficiently, and also offers controls to prevent the tractor veering off from its intended path or desired operation. A remote engine start stop feature can bring the tractor to a complete stop if needed in case of an emergency.
Mahindra claims that with deployment of this technology on its tractors, the farmers can work their fields for long hours without exposing themselves to harsh weather or difficult operating conditions. Furthermore, the company believes that it will also ensure better quality and consistency in farming operations, leading to higher productivity and farm produce yields.
This technology will be deployed across Mahindra tractor platforms in due course of time. It will also be deployed across international markets such as USA and Japan, giving Mahindra tractors a first mover advantage in global markets as well. The company plans to offer the driverless tractor technology across its range of tractors from 20bhp to 100bhp over a period of time.