Indian tractor manufacturer Mahindra and Mahindra will be the Indian company to launch, first of its kind, driverless tractor model in 2019 and it would present the market with a driver assist model in, as early as, 2018. “We will launch the driver assist tractor in 2018,” said M&M managing director Pawan Goenka.
Thus in this manner, the vehicle maker would first launch a semi-autonomous tractor model and then a fully autonomous one would be available to its customers.
This technology is a product of the Mahindra’s technology house called as the Mahindra Research Valley in Chennai.
All the tractor options available at Mahindra would be employed with this technology over a period of time. It would offer this autonomous technology across its 20HP to 100HP range of tractors. Mahindra will also introduce the technology in its U.S. and Japan and other international markets, giving it a cutting edge over its competitors in the global market.
Goenka informed that the only hurdle between launching the new technology was the get the green signal from the government and to fix a final price of the vehicle.
The company is dealing with price issues because the vehicle maker is conscious about the price being on the high side as it comprises of many imported elements. They are working to keep the cost on a more affordable level.
He said that the company had already presented the Central Government of India for approval and that they are awaiting the government to draft the required policies and legislations for such autonomous vehicles and grant it the permission.
With the introduction of this new technology, the company wants to increase its domestic market share by 3 %. The company already has lions share in the domestic tractor segment- 43%.
Let’s get to know a few of the features of this first of its kind technology:
1. Auto-headland turn: The farmer does not have to steer the tractor in side-by-side rows because the tractor positions itself in adjacent rows on its own.
2. Autosteer: The tractor can travel and do its job in a straight line due to this GPS enabled technology.
3. Auto-implement lift: This feature makes the tractor lift the work tool from the earth, automatically, at the end of a row and engages the tool again once the tractor positions itself at the next row.
4. Geofence lock: The tractor stays within the limits of the framers land and does not cross the boundaries of the farm it is working on.
5. Skid passing: The tractor steers and positions itself to the next row after finishing work on one row, without any inputs from the driver.
6. Remote engine start-stop: The farmer can remote start or stop the engine and hence, this feature can be of great use in cases of emergency when the tractor is needed to be brought to a stop.
7. Control via tablet user interface: The farmer can control the tractor with the help of a tablet. It empowers the farmer to feed in various inputs that are required for efficient farming. He can also see to it that the tractor does its designated job and stays in its path with the help of a tablet.
Mahindra Farm Equipment, a part of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. Acquired Erkunt Traktor Sanayii AS. The company is fourth largest tractor brand in Turkey. The acquisition will help Mahindra expand its roots in international markets and especially in Turkey. The Indian company acquired Hisarlar, another major step to deepen its reach in the Turkish markets.