UK debut for autonomous tractor

Case IH’s autonomous concept vehicle (ACV) will make its UK debut at next month’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

by Steven Vale

26 Jun 2019

The autonomous tractor is equipped with a range of technologies that are used for remote monitoring and control via a PC or tablet, meaning that once the tractor is in the field it can work completely independently, eliminating the need for a driver to observe operation, and so removing the need for a cab.

Should the tractor encounter an obstacle it automatically stops, the owner is alerted, and the machine does not restart until camera feeds are checked and a decision on whether the tractor can continue is taken.

Key benefits of autonomous technology include the optimisation of farming operations, especially during tight weather windows, as the vehicle can work around the clock with no variation in productivity. It can also help farms overcome the lack of skilled labour.

Based on a Magnum CVX (370/419hp), the ACV first broke cover August 2016 at the Farm Progress Show, and made its first appearance in Europe at the 2017 SIMA show. Ever since, it has resided at the visitor centre at the Racine facility in Wisconsin (US).

Although still a concept, key ACV technologies from the autonomous R&D program have already been rolled out on currently-available Case IH equipment, including the AFS Connect Magnum, which is due to be launched in Europe this autumn.

The autonomous concept tractor will be on display in the future lab at Goodwood Festival of Speed from July 4 to 7, at the Goodwood Estate, Chichester, West Sussex.