John Deere has launched its new award-winning AutoTrac Vision system, which will be available for selected tractor and self-propelled sprayer models.
This new system can automatically guide machinery down established crop rows using a high-resolution, front-mounted camera.
Jack Howard, John Deere Ltd. AMS product sales specialist, said “AutoTrac Vision allows users to bring more technology and automation to operations that are still driven manually. We see this being a big step forward in precision agriculture, to help producers enhance their equipment performance, improve machine uptime and reduce operating costs.”
“The system uses a camera combined with GPS technology to guide the tractor or sprayer down either tramlines or crop rows, and allows operators to work faster, with less stress, at speeds of up to 30kph. It can also be used to guide implements, such as an inter-row tiller.”
John Deere claims that this new system will allow users to benefit from automated steering in fields that have been planted without a guidance system, or where an existing guidance line is unavailable.
The camera will detect the tramline or plant row and steers the machine along it, keeping the vehicle wheels in the centre between rows to reduce crop damage and help increase yields. In situations where it can’t detect a row, the system will fall back to an auto-generated guidance line.
Detect early-season row crops
According to John Deere, AutoTrac Vision can see and detect early-season row crops as long as the camera can differentiate between the crop rows and the soil – for example, working with a slurry tanker in early season maize, as soon as the plants are at least 10cm high.
The system will also work during the night and the manufacturer says it will allow up to 20% more crop area to be covered per day.
Currently, AutoTrac Vision can be retrofitted to 6M, 6R (not including models fitted with a panoramic glass roof), 7R and 8R/8RT Series tractors plus R Series self-propelled sprayers.