Called OmniDrive, the autonomous system allows combine operators to monitor and operate the driverless tractor to sync with the harvester to unload the grain tank on the move, then return the tractor to a predetermined unloading area.
The bolt-on technology was initially only available as an aftermarket solution for John Deere 8Rs (powershift and IVT models from 2010 to the current line-up). That the technology is now compatible with Magnums and T8s is not surprising considering CNH Industrial, the parent company of Case Ih and New Holland, entered into an agreement to buy Raven Industries in June this year. The transaction is expected to be finalised before the end of this year.
Currently compatible with grain trailers and chaser bins, the limited release of 75 OmniDrive systems planned for this first year are all operational.
Additional tractors will follow in the future and Raven is working with OEM partners to develop autonomous solutions for implements. The concept has already been successfully tested with sugar beet harvesters.
It remains to be seen whether CNHi will bring the driverless technology to Europe.