John Deere have recently premiered their maiden all-electric autonomous tractor, as they begin their mission to establish electric drive technologies in agriculture.
The machine, which was exclusively revealed by electrive.com, was developed through the GridCON research project in a consortium that included the TU Kaiserslautern (technical university) and B.A.U.M Consult GmbH.
The tractor -
The autonomous, all electric, tractor is being described as the latest in driverless technology and the design does not require or have a traditional cab.
The tractor also has the capacity of connecting with smart grid infrastructures, meaning farmers can plug the tractor directly into a nearby power source, such as an on-site renewable energy source. The tractor gains its energy to function through a cable connected to the grid, rather than an onboard battery, meaning it is literally plugged in!
The tractor comes equipped with automated cable routing, which ensures there is no tangling. Designers claim there is no chance of damage to the powerline even at headland turns! The design can all be controlled through a remote system or manually. Jobs can also be pre-planned and digital paths planned. Whilst in the fields, the tractor is supplied with direct current in the medium-voltage range (>6000 V DC) through the above-mentioned cable and this is then turned to 700VDC at the tractors onboard network, as reported by Electrive.com.
Double Power Density
Reduced Noise Emissions
Locally Co2 Neutral farming
The completed design was put through its paces recently, as it was tested by engineers at the John Deere European Technology Innovation Centre in Germany. Check out the complete design in video here.