Review of the Year: Driverless tractor

It looked like an April Fool’s joke, but 25 driverless tractors rolled out of a North Dakota factory for testing on US farms.

Designed by two American-based groups, the Spirit is the brainchild of the Autonomous Tractor Corporation and the Automation Research Group. “No one has rethought the ag tractor from the bottom up in probably 80 years,” said software developer LeRoy Anderson.

“Currently available equipment has tried to meet the needs of farmers by incremental innovation over many decades. The result is giant machines that are prohibitively expensive, inefficient and difficult to transport.”

The tractor either directs itself or is in follow-my-leader mode, so the cab is pretty much redundant. Instead, one person using a remote control can take charge of up to 16 Spirit tractors spread across fields 25 miles away.

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Read the Spirit tractor review

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