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​New Holland develops fully autonomous tractor

Editorial
article image The NHDrive concept tractor is designed to offers operational flexibility, as it features the same cab as a standard T8.

The New Holland NHDrive concept autonomous tractor, which is based on a T8 Blue Power model, was developed by CNH Industrial in collaboration with its technology provider Autonomous Solutions Incorporated (ASI).

NHDrive is a fully autonomous unmanned vehicle that can be monitored and controlled via a desktop computer or a portable tablet interface. Equipped with a seeder, it is able to autonomously seed the next crop straight behind the combine. 

Farmers can access tractor and implement data whenever they need, wherever they are, so that they can make informed decisions at the right time, optimising operational efficiency and productivity – and they maintain full control and ownership of their data.

The tractor can make the most of the periods of favourable weather for farming operations by working around the clock; it makes full use of the advanced PLM (Precision Land Management) technology for precision farming; it is able to reach higher levels of productivity and efficiency than traditional methods; and it helps to reduce the risks associated with human error as it follows predetermined and optimised plans for all activities.

The NHDrive concept tractor is designed to offers operational flexibility, as it features the same cab as a standard T8, so that it can also be used for those operations where complete autonomy is not yet possible, such as front loader work and high speed road transport.

The tractor is also able to work alongside other autonomous machines and can also work in tandem with machines Driven by an operator. 

Going forward, it will be able to completely automate grain handling during the harvest when equipped with a trailer, including unloading, transport and offloading activities. 

It is conceivable that in the future New Holland’s complete tractor range and other agricultural equipment could be equipped with the NHDrive technology.

The further development of the NHDrive autonomous tractor will be a key element of the future PLM strategy - one of the pillars of the Clean Energy Leader strategy – and represents the ultimate expression of the "doing more with less" concept: more work, more efficiency, more productivity, more flexibility in operating decisions, all based on precise data. 

This, all with optimised use of inputs, reduced costs and consumption and less human fatigue.

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