Tel Aviv-based Blue White Robotics has announced the launch of an autonomous tractor kit that can reportedly be installed on any third-party conventional tractor within one day.
The solution preserves the ability to drive manually, with users able to choose between manual or self-driving modes.
A GPS module, lidar units and optical cameras are also included in the kit for detection and avoidance of obstacles.
Furthermore, a pressure-sensitive front bumper causes the tractor to stop if there is an obstruction.
An additional four emergency cut-off switches are located around the outside of the chassis, which enable bystanders to stop the vehicle.
Blue White Robotics has also developed an accompanying computer programme for users to define the tractor’s area of operation on a map.
The kit then utilises that data to set up its geofencing system, which keeps the vehicle from travelling beyond boundaries.
An AI system enables the tractor to move through the fields to identify rows of plants and to turn around at the end of each row so it can head down the next one.
According to Blue White Robotics, the system is currently being trialled by “major commercial growers” in orchards and vineyards along the USA’s west coast, where it’s being used for tasks such as spraying and mowing.