Deere says its robo-tractors are ready to till the fields


Workers set up a temporary building for John Deere in the parking lot of the Las Vegas Convention Center in preparation for CES 2022 in Las Vegas, January 3, 2022. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

DETROIT (Reuters) - John Deere & Co said on Tuesday it will start commercial delivery this year of technology that enables a tractor to till a field without an operator in the cab, a first for the top North American tractor manufacturer after years of effort to automate farm work.

Deere plans a low-volume launch this year delivering systems for 12 to 20 machines, and then scaling up, Jahmy Hindman, Deere's chief technology officer, told Reuters. The company is weighing whether to sell the technology, lease it, or offer it to farmers in a subscription package that could allow for upgrades as hardware and software evolve, he said.

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