Mahindra has become the pioneer in the Indian tractor industry with the unique proposition of a driverless tractor. The company displayed its first driverless tractor developed at the Mahindra Research Valley, the Group’s hub of innovation and technology located in Chennai.
It is being said that the driverless tractor will redefine the mechanization process for the global farmer, increasing productivity and leading to increased food production. This technology is designed to enable tractors to perform a variety of farming applications & operate varied implements. It can be programmed to carry out specific tasks & can also be operated remotely to perform in the field.
The tractor will be available commercially from early 2018, in a phased manner. The range of tractors will be from 20 HP to 100 HP. The pioneering driverless tractor is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and boasts of several unique features:
- Auto-steer – GPS based technology that enables a tractor to travel along a straight line.
- Auto-headland turn – Enables the tractor to orient itself along adjacent rows for continuous operation without any steering input from the farmer.
- Auto-implement lift – Feature in the tractor that automatically lifts the work tool from the ground at the end of a row and lowers the tool after the tractor has oriented itself for operation at the next row.
- Skip passing – This technology feature enables the tractor to steer to the next row for continuous operation without any intervention of the driver.
- Geofence lock – Prevents tractor from going outside the boundaries of the farm
- Control via Tablet User Interface – Enables the farmer to program various inputs needed to farm efficiently. Also, offers controls to prevent the tractor veering off from its intended path or desired operation. He can also control the tractor remotely via a tablet.
- Remote Engine Start Stop – Ability to stop the engine and hence, bring the tractor to a complete STOP if needed in cases of emergency
Deployment of this technology on tractors will increase the productivity of the farmers as well as protect them from health hazards and help them operate in difficult conditions. India has over 58 percent of the rural households depend on agriculture as their principal means of livelihood. Agriculture is one of the largest contributors to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). So this is certainly a welcome step by the company.