Science

Mahindra to develop self-driving tractors

12 Aug 2016 | By Supriya Kaur
Self-driving tractors: Boon for agricultural sector in India?

Chairman of Mahindra & Mahindra (M & M), said it was in the agricultural sector where "productivity increases are sorely needed to feed the growing needs of the world".

M & M seeks to "pioneer in making a driverless tractor" and currently has a 43% share of the domestic market.

Its competitors like Deere & Co. have been selling autonomous tractors for long.

In context: Self-driving tractors: Boon for agricultural sector in India?

ProfileMahindra & Mahindra

Mumbai headquartered, M & M, has a presence in 100 countries and is a $17.8 billion multinational federation of companies. It was originally set up as a steel trading company in 1945.

Its businesses are spread over diverse sectors including automobiles, farm equipment, defence, aerospace, retail, leisure and hospitality and logistics.

M & M is the biggest manufacturer of tractors in the world.

DetailsSelf-driving tractors very much a reality

American tractor manufacturer, John Deere, has been selling auto-steering and self-guidance technology in over a 100 countries that allows tractors to drive themselves.

Deere & Co., over the last decade have developed automated tractors that can turn, shift gears, see through darkness/dust and follow a crop line.

A completely autonomous tractor has yet to be developed; an operator is still needed for safety reasons.

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How are self-driving tractors beneficial?

DetailsHow are self-driving tractors beneficial?

According to M & M's Chairman, "paranoia about accidents and collisions is virtually non-existent" with regards to self-driving tractors.

Autonomous tractors currently operate solely on private land and reach consumers much sooner due to less scrutiny from regulators.

These farm machines are GPS-enabled that can be managed via iPads; farmers see productivity soar as only supervision is required and driving is delegated to computers.

12 Aug 2016Mahindra to develop self-driving tractors

Mahindra Agri Solutions Limited (MASL)

M & M's subsidiary, MASL, assists farmers with soil testing, seed selection, use of fertiliser, micro-irrigation and via an app allows them to access latest information on prices, weather and farm practices holistically providing farm-tech to boost productivity.