March 20, 2023
A wide-scale project to retrofit lidar technology to hundreds of tractors to enable autonomous navigation and operation is underway.
Lidar company Ouster and AgTech group Fieldin are aiming to deploy more than 100 autonomy retrofit kits on tractors throughout the U.S. this year, with several hundred additional sensors expected to be added through 2024.
According to the partners, the project marks the largest deployment of retrofit autonomy kits for autonomous tractors in the agricultural industry.
The autonomy kit features several capabilities, including auto-steering, autonomous spraying and fully autonomous driver-out functionality. Ouster’s OS1 sensors provide vehicle localization, navigation and object detection, while Fieldin’s autonomous solutions provide real-time data on crops and farm machinery, to help improve decision-making, productivity and transparency.
“Agricultural equipment operates rain or shine, in fluctuating temperatures and dusty environments and through narrow aisles of crops completing a variety of routine tasks from spraying and harvesting to mowing,” said Fieldin chief autonomy officer Yonatan Horovitz. “Fieldin is modernizing agricultural management from beginning to end to optimize operations and reduce costs while making a positive global contribution through better food, higher yields, and environmental impact management.
“To achieve this at scale, we needed a lidar sensor for our autonomy kit that was robust, reliable and cost-effective.”
Fieldin has installed more than 10,000 IoT devices on agricultural machinery in the “three largest markets for fruit, nuts, and vegetables” and plans to upgrade each of these installations with its autonomy kits.
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