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Old 11th September 2018, 15:39   #16
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Default Re: Could Driverless tractors revolutionise farming in India?

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Originally Posted by ach1lles View Post
Oh, come on. A high school project could demo better "autonomy".
This was their first prototype on a regular tractor. They have now integrated it with a small electric drivetrain.

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Old 11th September 2018, 19:14   #17
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Default Re: Could Driverless tractors revolutionise farming in India?

I think what will gain ground is precision farming driver aids, rather than autonomous tractors.

Would not even trust a driverless tractor on my neighbour's property.

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Old 11th September 2018, 19:20   #18
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Default Re: Could Driverless tractors revolutionise farming in India?

I remember back when I was working in Melbourne, I used to visit a few friends in the countryside few hours out of Melbourne. One of them had a huge ranch, 5000 plus acres I think and used automated tractors that used a set pattern and GPS co ordinates to till and plough his land. They would go in a 'U' fashion going from end to end in a designated area and than take a U turn. Was very eye opening to say the least.
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Old 11th September 2018, 19:35   #19
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Default Re: Could Driverless tractors revolutionise farming in India?

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Originally Posted by ach1lles View Post
It is surprising how everyone is just looking at the cost. Where's the skill question? Won't you happily pay more for a better driver? There's skill involved in tilling farmland. That skill is a rare sight these days.
There comes the point of what is the income of a farmer with medium size land holding. And the tractor is not used only and solely for cultivating the land, it has to do a lot lot more stuff from operating tubewells (using PTO) to carry sugarcanes to the mill and a lot more.

An automated tractor may work, I won't disagree; but what all contraints and data points are to be fed in and how the algorithm is gonna make it move ahead is what my concern is.



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Oh, come on. A high school project could demo better "autonomy".
I completely disagree man, if we forget the auto stop part and look at the way this small baby was pulling the rotary tiller like a pro - I was really impressed; these electric motors (especially the 3 phase induction ones) have an incredible torque delivery you know. A high school student don't even properly know the relation between the force and perpendicular distancel; here these guys have got the torque delivery just right - not high school stuff for sure.
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Old 11th September 2018, 20:34   #20
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Default Re: Could Driverless tractors revolutionise farming in India?

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Originally Posted by ach1lles View Post
It is surprising how everyone is just looking at the cost. Where's the skill question? Won't you happily pay more for a better driver? There's skill involved in tilling farmland. That skill is a rare sight these days.
Agree with you, skill is an important aspect.

The machine will apply physical force, will work faster than man. Even the present tractors do this. Though the driverless tractor won't need a person in driver's seat, a person having the farming knowledge is still needed to supervise and tune it's performance. At the most, that man may not be needed all the time and he/she may be able to attend some other machine simultaneously.

The skill involves knowledge of farming that the driverless tractor is not expected to have. And even if it does (long ahead in future), it will just substitute one person.

As I said earlier, saving one person is not much useful. Farmer would like to reduce his dependence on tens of persons for all farming activities.
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Old 11th September 2018, 22:23   #21
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Default Re: Could Driverless tractors revolutionise farming in India?

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Lets hope that they atleast come with rear reflectors or lights of some sort.They're so hard to spot on the road during night.
Yeah. Not sure if its reliability aspect from the makers or the owner's irresponsibility. Have had people who died in accidents during night time among relatives. They move so slow that it should be made mandatory blink the hazards light once night falls.
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Old 12th September 2018, 12:12   #22
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Default Re: Could Driverless tractors revolutionise farming in India?

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labour is cheap, especially in rural India.
Labour is not really cheap any more. That's an old understanding.
Things have changed in the last decade, especially after the introduction of MNAREGA.
The other issue is of labour shortage. I have seen cases where seasonal plot leases have dropped drastically since labourers prefer factory job or MNAREGA works.
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Old 12th September 2018, 14:13   #23
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Default Re: Could Driverless tractors revolutionise farming in India?

The agri machinery is seldom managed by the manufacturer's ASS in majority of the states. Its the local mechanic(s) who is / are responsible for upkeeping.

A large amount of technology, costly up keeping, dependence on manufacturer, smaller farm size (in 70-80% of cases) may pose big challenge to driver less initiatives. Nonetheless such R&D will not go waste as it may be used for several other purposes where human intervention / management is relatively costlier.
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Old 12th September 2018, 17:20   #24
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Default Re: Could Driverless tractors revolutionise farming in India?

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Fat chance of this going full scale in India. Primary reason = labour is cheap, especially in rural India.
It's just a matter of time, and according to me, not too far away. Note that there are a few other benefits too - the land owner is no longer dependent on the whims and fancies of the human driver, his demands, off-days, and potential for sabotage.
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Old 13th September 2018, 11:10   #25
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Default Re: Could Driverless tractors revolutionise farming in India?

This is a welcome move, this may be just the beginning however I see no reason for it to not takeoff in future!

Everyone here is talking about the low labor cost of having a human driver but what about the physical stress and strain the driver goes trough while tilling the farm land? I am sure it is a back breaking activity. wouldn't it be easier for the driver to operate the vehicle remotely(using a joy stick/tablet) sitting under the shade of a tree?

There are days when tilling/ploughing used to be done with bulls and come to present day I see most part of the activity is done by a tractor just because it is faster and less amount of physical burden, I do see a full potential of driver less/remotely driven tractors in future.
Just like how we(the car driving crowd from cities) prefer to drive an automatic car in peek traffic the farmers also happily adapt for a better alternative when available at a affordable cost.

Take a look at this Link, a 19 year old son of a farmer transformed a regular tractor to be driven with a remote control!
If an Individual can do this how much can be done by a multinational company?

Last edited by Naveen_0181 : 13th September 2018 at 11:12.
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Old 13th September 2018, 23:18   #26
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Default Re: Could Driverless tractors revolutionise farming in India?

It makes sense to use this technology in big farms.
In India, big landlords employ labour for farming where using tractor is one part of the job.
In case of small farmer, he would do most of the job himself to save cost.

These tractors makes sense (and already exist) for giant farming lands of other countries.
Just like cab tractors, they would have small market here.

Last edited by procrastinator : 13th September 2018 at 23:22.
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Old 14th September 2018, 03:21   #27
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Default Re: Could Driverless tractors revolutionise farming in India?

I have had the experience of spending weekend time in the fields during my school and college days. Infact the first four wheeler that I started to drive was our Swaraj 735 FE.

Operation of a tractor in the fields is a tiring process. I have done it when our drivers were on leave and it actually breaks your back in 4 -5 hrs. On top of it the noise when plowing (since it needs more torque, usually it is on 1st gear and throttle at 70%) can make you deaf and that is the reason most of the tractor drivers are usually teens with no real world driving experience since then can only bear the tough work. This is where making it electric really helps.

Tractors are also used for light applications like collecting coconuts, farm produce from the farm to the collection area/market. In our area in TamilNadu, there are tractors which does only this whole day. These tasks can be automated and it really can improve productivity( since the driver usually doubles up as the worker).

Villages with around 100acres of total land has like atleast 10-15 tractors for rent. Tractor + earth movers business employs ~20 youths in each village and some people have like 4-5 of them with all the attachment equipments. So usually small farms rent it, big farms have one at their disposal and rent only when they need specific equipment/multiple tractors.

I really think electric + autonomous (or atleast semi autonomous) tractors will be really a boon for our country. The only factor that plays is at what cost this conversion happens? Rural economy is cost sensitive and I think it will take atleast few years for these systems to reach it.

Last edited by AccordSport : 14th September 2018 at 03:33.
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Old 2nd April 2019, 22:20   #28
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Default Re: Could Driverless tractors revolutionise farming in India?

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/201...power-outages/

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