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John Deere unveils automated tractor at CES show

John Deere has launched its first automated tractor that can till a field without the need for a driver

John Deere unveils automated tractor at CES show

The heavy-duty vehicle can be controlled with a smartphone and navigates farmland using cameras and sensors. The automated functions are a kit that may be added to some existing tractors rather than a new machine. John Deere, on the other hand, said it hasn't decided whether to sell the kit directly - and is considering a lease or subscription model.The company isn't the first to showcase automated tractor technology, but it is one of the world's largest producers of farm equipment.

The new kit, which was introduced at the CES technology expo employs six pairs of stereo cameras to monitor its surroundings and uses machine learning to detect objects and avoid collisions.

However, safety is still a major worry.

Heavy equipment is at blame for a lot of farm injuries. In agriculture, forestry, and fishing, for example, data from the UK's Health and Safety Executive shows that being struck by a moving vehicle was the most common cause of fatal injury in 2020-2021.Thirteen individuals were murdered by a car, and another six were killed by machinery, such as tractor attachments, among the 41 deaths that year.

Agriculture remains significantly dangerous than other sectors, with fatal injuries per 100,000 workers almost 20 times higher than the national average. Automated tractors and other farm equipment arguably remove the farmer from close proximity to heavy machinery, but also rely on the technology's ability to detect potential dangers. The company says it has been testing the technology for three years before its official unveiling, including on real-world farms

Japanese tech firm Sony, made a surprise announcement at CES, stating that it would construct an electric vehicle to compete with Tesla and the established automobile giants.

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