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Old 12th August 2016, 13:04   #1
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Default Mahindra to work on driverless tractors

Mahindra & Mahindra will be working on driverless tractors in the near future. This information was revealed by the company's Chairman and Managing Director, Anand Mahindra at the company's 70th annual general meeting.

Mahindra acknowledges the fact that driverless tractors will have a huge impact on the food production of the country. Moreover, since the tractors will need to mostly work in fields, the chances of accidents and collision are very remote. Hence, it would not be that hard to develop a driverless tractor, especially in comparison to an autonomous car that needs to deal with the congestion of city, traffic rules and road signs.

The Mahindra Group is already India's only home-grown manufacturer that has pure-electric cars on sale, under the Mahindra Electric brand name. The Group has also started tapping the shared mobility segment with its Tringgo platform that allows farmers to hire a tractor depending on their needs. The company also operates the Smartshift goods transportation business that is often referred to as the OLA and Uber of small commercial vehicles.

Source: ET Auto

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Last edited by dZired : 12th August 2016 at 13:06.
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Old 12th August 2016, 13:23   #2
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Default Re: Mahindra to work on driverless tractors

It feels good to see an Indian company making a bold, challenging technological shift.
I read about this company called Autonomous Tractor Corporation a few months ago. They have a system that can be installed on existing tractors.
If anyone can pull this off in India, it is Mahindra. They have a real understanding of the customer's pain points.
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Old 15th August 2016, 10:42   #3
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Default Re: Mahindra to work on driverless tractors

Knowing how Mahindra's electronics are, I'm happy to read this news. Better they test their self-driving technology on relatively safer farmlands than public roads .

On a serious note:
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Originally Posted by Nissan1180 View Post
If anyone can pull this off in India, it is Mahindra.
India has ample cheap labour, more so in rural India. Such an expensive technology will have limited scope in our agricultural sector.
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Old 15th August 2016, 11:35   #4
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Default Re: Mahindra to work on driverless tractors

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Knowing how Mahindra's electronics are, I'm happy to read this news. Better they test their self-driving technology on relatively safer farmlands than public roads .

On a serious note:


India has ample cheap labour, more so in rural India. Such an expensive technology will have limited scope in our agricultural sector.
I agree with GTO.

IMO, even if the user budgets a higher cost for the tractor, he would like to have extra power, sturdiness, longer life or few extra attachments in return. Not the driverless electronics.

The possible lack of reliability of the electronics and associated maintenance cost may ultimately make the users to run away from the driverless tractor.

Tractor is a farming equipment, not merely a towing vehicle. To carry out the farming functions, a man (who understands what task is to be done and in what way) is anyway needed.
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Old 15th August 2016, 11:55   #5
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Default Re: Mahindra to work on driverless tractors

Also, with Mahindra's track record, this thing will always be on paper rather than anything else. Plus, we have ample cheap labour in rural areas, this thing would never take off.
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Old 15th August 2016, 12:33   #6
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Default Re: Mahindra to work on driverless tractors

Who needs a driverless tractor? Adoption of existing automated agriculture solutions itself is POOR in India.
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Old 15th August 2016, 13:51   #7
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Default Re: Mahindra to work on driverless tractors

Every project may not and need not be commercially successful. There are lot of research and development projects undertaken in automobile and technology companies, which provide learning and results for future developments.

Also, you may never predict how does landscape changes in next 10 years. Such knowledge may provide the first mover advantage and head on start for niche companies like Mahindra against global giants. I think Mahindra may have something similar in mind. I may be wrong though.

I think we should appreciate if they are really serious for such a research.
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Old 15th August 2016, 15:17   #8
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Default Re: Mahindra to work on driverless tractors

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Originally Posted by gupta_chd View Post
Every project may not and need not be commercially successful. There are lot of research and development projects undertaken in automobile and technology companies, which provide learning and results for future developments.

Also, you may never predict how does landscape changes in next 10 years. Such knowledge may provide the first mover advantage and head on start for niche companies like Mahindra against global giants. I think Mahindra may have something similar in mind. I may be wrong though.

I think we should appreciate if they are really serious for such a research.
Appreciate your point that every project may not and need not be commercially successful and such projects might be a part of long term plan.

But anyway you need someone to operate this machine during the farming duties. What this project may achieve is separation of muscle work from the brain work. The machine will still need a person for the brain work (to understand what work is to be done and to command the machine accordingly) for the farming duties.

And when a tractor is towing the trolleys on roads, it is better to have a driver considering the dynamics of tractor plus trailer.

Maybe this statement from Mahindra is just to impress upon the shareholders that the company is having some good long-term vision and projects.
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Old 17th August 2016, 19:04   #9
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Default Re: Mahindra to work on driverless tractors

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Knowing how Mahindra's electronics are, I'm happy to read this news. Better they test their self-driving technology on relatively safer farmlands than public roads .

On a serious note:


India has ample cheap labour, more so in rural India. Such an expensive technology will have limited scope in our agricultural sector.
Apparently labour is not so cheap anymore. Lot of bigger farmers/landowners are lamenting the fact that they cannot obtain cheap hired labour in season. Most of it is because of increasing infrastructure development which ensures more labour is absorbed in industries and road works, and a few even blame the 'rozgaar yojana' scheme which meant guaranteed income without work
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