CNH Industrial have added new automation and autonomy solutions to their ‘Ag Tech’ portfolio, unveiling driverless tillage, automated baling and harvest assistance at their Tech Day in Phoenix, Arizona.
The trio of new technologies claim to help solve farming’s biggest challenges, namely increasing productivity, doing more with fewer resources and doing it at a more sustainable level.
These latest Ag Tech technology developments include new Driverless Tillage and Driver Assist Harvest solutions from Raven, as well as Baler Automation from Case IH and New Holland as part of automation and autonomous equipment enhancements for these brands.
“The agriculture industry is faced with the challenges of time, costs, constrained operational windows, and a dwindling labor force. Autonomy will become an integral part of farmers’ operations everywhere,” said Derek Neilson, President, Agriculture, CNH Industrial. “We believe that autonomy and automation technologies are fundamental to the future of farming. They cover all farmer segments and drive real world benefits.”
Driver Assist Harvest Solution
This new automation technology for tractors leverages Case IH’s existing harvest technology with Raven Autonomy integration. CNH Industrial say a new co-ordinated control feature allows for the Driver Assist Harvest Solution to chart the path and speed of the tractor pulling a grain cart alongside a combine harvester during an ‘unload on the go’ operation.
The Driver Assist Harvest Solution keeps the tractor perfectly in sync with the combine harvester when unloading grain, giving the combine operator seamless control over the unloading process. This makes the entire operation more efficient, with less grain spillage in the process, too.
Additionally, this new technology helps remedy the lack of skilled labor by simplifying the task and also provides a better user experience with less operator fatigue.
Driver Assist Harvest Solution will be made commercially available for both Case IH and New Holland brands sometime this year.
Driverless Tillage Solution
This tech features an advanced Perception System and Remote Command & Control experience from Raven Autonomy and is a new example of ongoing integration of Raven with Case IH and New Holland machinery.
The Driverless Tillage Solution can function with no operator in the cab, as the machine can be operated remotely from a mobile tablet device. The operator can plan and execute precise, automated missions with consistent agronomic results monitored from anywhere.
This autonomous tillage solution combines the Case IH tractor and tillage platform with Raven Autonomy technology to provide a flexible, scalable tech stack to the iron.
The solution also leverages existing Case IH tillage automation technology for what’s described as ultimate agronomic and machine control of the implement. The result is increased productivity with consistent agronomic performance and richer data insights.
Industry-first Baler Automation applies to New Holland large square balers and features new technology that uses a LiDAR sensor to scan the windrow in front of the tractor for density, volume and direction. The tractor and baler then use this input to automatically control steering, forward speed and baler settings to ensure the baler follows the windrow precisely for accurate crop feeding.
The result, according to CNH Industrial, is optimised bale shape, increased productivity, operator comfort and reduced fuel consumption.
When released, this baling automation feature will be available for both New Holland and Case IH machines.
Automation and Autonomy technology milestones in the field
The unveiling of these new automation and autonomy solutions at CNH Industrial’s Tech Day follows their introduction of the agricultural industry’s first autonomous spreader, the Case IH Trident 5550 applicator with Raven Autonomy (Driverless Spreading Solution) at the Farm Progress Show in Iowa.
Additionally, New Holland and Case IH combines offer award-winning, best-in-class automation, and both Case IH Patriot and New Holland Guardian sprayers come equipped with application control automation.
“We’re on the road to full autonomy,” said Parag Garg, CNH Industrial Chief Digital Product Officer. “We focus on delivering an autonomous tech stack that scales across all production cycles for the cash crop segment: crop preparation, planting/seeding, crop care, harvest, hay and forage.
“Focussing on automation and autonomy is not taking farmers out of farming - it’s making their machines more productive with functional automation.
“Our focus is to make the precision technology on our equipment so smart that the customer can focus on the farm and let CNH Industrial take care of rest.”