Deere Expects a ‘Slow’ Rollout of Autonomous Tractors This Year
(Bloomberg) -- Deere & Co. is being cautious in its rollout of self-driving tractors, a technology which the agriculture industry thinks could revolutionize farming.
Chief Technology Officer Jahmy Hindman said the company is still “playing around” with the volume of autonomous tractors it will bring to the market this year, saying it could be anywhere between 10 to 50. The comments indicate the company is aware that it can’t afford to roll out the new tractors in case there are still bugs, which could hurt its sterling reputation in unveiling new agricultural technology. The company unveiled the new tractor this week.
“We’re going to be slow on introduction,” Hindman said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “We want to make sure that we get this right.”
Deere introduced the technology on its iconic yellow-and-green tractor and said it can be controlled from a farmer’s mobile phone. It will be able to plant seeds, spray nutrients and harvest crops down to an inch of accuracy without anyone needing to touch the steering wheel. Shares are up nearly 10% this week.
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