Deere becomes autonomous with its tractor without farmers


Illustration by Elias Stein


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One of the biggest topics of last week’s CES tech show was electric and autonomous transportation – cars, trucks, bicycles, boats. And, as it turns out, tractors.

The agricultural machinery giant Deere presented a new autonomous tractor with attached tillage equipment at the CES. For those unfamiliar with life on the farm, said Julian Sanchez, Deere’s director of new technologies, Barrons that tillage is an important, time-consuming and arduous process in preparing the soil for next season’s sowing. If you don’t do it quickly, the floor could freeze. And ineffective tillage means some seeds won’t arrive and the yield will decrease.

While tractors have been equipped with automatic steering for several years, the Deere autonomous tractor can work without a driver in the cab. The tractor can detect obstacles that could damage the attached drawbar. And, he says, it can run around the clock, saving time and labor, and improving productivity by up to 20%.

Sanchez notes that this is more than just navigation. If the tillage is too shallow, don’t break up the chaff; too deep and the tractor drives too slowly, which increases fuel costs. The system includes six cameras to detect holes, debris or other materials and notify the farmer when a problem needs to be addressed. Eventually, Sanchez adds, Deere expects to add other tasks to the autonomous tractor, such as sowing seeds and distributing herbicides.

Deere has not disclosed the pricing for its autonomous tractor – nor the business model that might apply to a tractor with an ongoing need for data connectivity and navigation services. It’s the software-as-a-service model built on top of agriculture.

Last week

A cool start

Apple was the first stock to breach $ 3 trillion in market cap before falling behind. OPEC + approved a planned production increase, but oil and uranium rose as protests swept through OPEC + member Kazakhstan. The job news was mixed: about 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November, a new high, but unemployment fell. Rising Treasury yields and the Federal Reserve’s log pointing to a March rate hike sent tech stocks and Bitcoin down. For the week, the Dow industrials fell 0.3% to 36,231.66; the S&P 500 lost 1.9% to 4,677.03; and the Nasdaq Composite fell 4.5% to 14,935.90.

Cars, cars, chips

Tesla shares rose after global shipments were announced that exceeded estimates, in part due to its ability to source chips.


Toyota
passed


General Motors
as a top vehicle seller in the US after having chips in stock – GM wasn’t number 1 for the first time in 90 years. And


ford
Shares rose after it doubled production plans for its new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck.

Omicron Rising

Omicron and bad weather weighed on travel – airlines canceled around 18,500 flights from Christmas Eve to Monday. The US recorded a million infections, double the previous record. Schools started going virtual again. The Food and Drug Administration did the


Pfizer
and BioNTech Booster for 12 to 15 year olds.

China falls short

China has failed to meet its commitments to purchase U.S. goods under the Trump trade deal. That left the Biden administration faced with the problem of what to do about it. China had promised to increase US purchases by $ 200 billion in 2017, but lagged 17% in agricultural goods, 41% in industrial goods and 62% in energy.

More


Evergrande
Woe

China Evergrande’s shares were temporarily suspended in Hong Kong after the city government of the man-made tourist island of Hainan ordered the developer to demolish 39 buildings for “illegal construction”. Evergrande said the Hainan project will continue.

Holmes guilty

A jury condemned Elizabeth Holmes, the 37-year-old founder of the failed diagnostics start-up Theranos, for three cases of wire fraud and for conspiracy to commit fraud. You could face years of imprisonment.

Annals of Deal-Making

In its first major deal since 2015, 3G Capital agreed to buy a 75% stake in Dutch window covering maker Hunter Douglas for a markup of 64% and an enterprise value of $ 7.1 billion. The New York Times said it was The. buys Athletic website for $ 550 million … The Wall Street Journal reported


AT&T‘S
WarnerMedia and


ViacomCBS
spoke to potential buyers of CW Network. The front runner: Nexstar Media … Private Equity’s TPG is targeting a $ 9.5 billion valuation on its IPO, bringing in up to $ 877


Millions … Warner Music
bought David Bowie’s songbook for allegedly $ 250 million.

Write to Eric J. Savitz at [email protected]


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