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Smart Ag delivers first cloud-based platform for driverless tractors | KRVN Radio

Smart Ag delivers first cloud-based platform for driverless tractors

AMES, Iowa, — An Iowa technology company

has unlocked the tremendous potential for automation in agriculture by

developing the first cloud-based platform for driverless tractors.

Smart Ag officials in Ames announced today they are releasing on a

limited basis, the first application for the platform, called

AutoCart@. This software application fully automates a grain cart

tractor, which provide farmers much needed assistance during the

demanding harvest season

Colin Hurd, the founder and CEO of Smart Ag, said the innovative

technology will allow farmers to automate their existing equipment and

maximize its efficiency and capacity – regardless of manufacturer.

“Farming should no longer be defined by what the equipment industry

decides is better or more profitable. We believe agriculture is best

when farmers have choices,” Hurd said. “The best way to improve our

customers’ operational capacity is to enable them to use automation

and driverless technology on their farms. With the correct technology

and knowledge, farmers can do the seemingly impossible.”

Over two years in development, AutoCart, along with the tractor

automation kit, is a plug-and-play system that automates existing

grain cart tractors and is compatible with any brand or combination of

brands. The system allows a combine operator to set staging and

unloading locations in a field, adjust speed, monitor location and

command the grain cart to sync precisely to the speed and direction of

the combine. After it is loaded, the AutoCart automatically returns to

an unloading point elsewhere in the field.

According to Hurd, the AutoCart application provides a solution to one

of the biggest challenges facing every farmer – critical labor

shortages during harvest. He said Smart Ag’s driverless tractor

technology “empowers farmers to leave the cab” and complete their

operations faster and with less labor than ever before.

“AutoCart performs the same function as a driver, only it is more

profitable, more reliable and safer,” Hurd added. “Our technology has

the potential to bring significant change to U.S. crop production

through improved productivity, profitability and safety.”

Smart Ag recently completed a comprehensive beta test of AutoCart on

Midwest farms during the corn and soybean harvest. One of those test

sites was Kyle Mehmen’s fifth-generation MBS Family Farms near

Plainfield, Iowa.

“The AutoCart system performed extremely well for us during our corn

harvest, and I fully expect it to be a game changer for agriculture,”

Mehmen said.  “These are the kind of technologies that we’re going to

adopt on our farm one way or the other. It’s simply a matter of when

and which ones.”

The AutoCart technology is now available on a first-come, first-served

basis through the Smart Ag website: Hurd said that

the cost of the system is comparable to retrofitting a sprayer or

planter with precision technology.

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