Case IH has unveiled an autonomous concept tractor at the Farm Progress Show in Iowa, USA.

The vehicle is a cab-less 370hp Magnum, which is capable of operating autonomously with a wide range of field implements and comes with some pretty distinctive styling, too.

“In many parts of the world, finding skilled labour during peak seasons is a constant challenge for our customers,” said Case IH brand president Andreas Klauser.

While auto-steering and telematics is already on offer, the company claims this autonomous tractor concept demonstrates how machines could be remotely monitored and controlled directly.

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Proof of concept

Mr Klauser explained that the concept was created to prove the technology works and to collect customer feedback regarding their interest and need for autonomous machines in future.

Case IH concept vehicle

Teaming up with Utah-based Autonomous Solutions Incorporated (ASI), Case’s working concept allows remote monitoring of pre-programmed operations.

The on-board system automatically accounts for implement widths and plots the most efficient paths, depending on the terrain, obstructions and other machines in the same field.

The remote operator can supervise and adjust pathways via a desktop or tablet computer.

Case IH concept vehicle

Through the use of radar, lidar (light imaging, detection, and ranging) and on-board video cameras, the vehicle can sense stationary or moving obstacles in its path and will stop on its own until the operator assigns a new path.

Safety first

The vehicle will also stop immediately if GPS signal is lost, or if the manual stop button is pushed. Machine tasks can also be remotely modified in real time.

Case parent company CNH aims to bring out a cabbed version in the near future, which will mean it can be used autonomously or as a normal tractor.