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Tuesday, April 26, 2022

John Deere Does Autonomy

 Impressive regarding autonomous applications.  I recall the NavCon Satellite based work.

John Deere is slowly becoming one of the world’s most important AI companies

Nothing runs (autonomously) like a Deere  

Artificial Intelligence - The Next Web by Tristan Greene / April 22, 2022 at 02:35PM//keep unread//hide

John Deere has been in business for nearly 200 years. For those in the agriculture industry, the company that makes green tractors is as well-known as Santa Claus, McDonald’s, or John Wayne.

Heck, even city folk who’ve never seen a tractor that wasn’t on a television screen know John Deere. The company’s so popular even celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher and George Clooney have been known to rock a Deere hat.

What most outsiders don’t know is that John Deere’s not so much a farming vehicle manufacturer these days as it is an agricultural technology company. And, judging by how things are going in 2022, we’re predicting it’ll be a full-on artificial intelligence company within the next 15 years.

John Deere’s been heavily-invested in robotics and autonomy for decades. Back in the late 1990s, the company acquired GPS startup NavCon in hopes of building satellite-directed guidance systems for tractors.

Within a few years, JD was able to develop a system that was accurate to a few centimeters — previous GPS systems could be off by as much as several meters. The company then partnered with none other than NASA to create the world’s first internet-based GPS tracking system.

In other words: the path to modern autonomous vehicles was sowed and tilled by John Deer tractors and NASA decades ago. Automation is par for the course at John Deere. The company has numerous tractors, vehicles, and other smart equipment that offer features ranging from hands-free driver assistance to autonomous weed identification and eradication.

But the recent shift to autonomy has the company positioned to be an important fixture in the AI technology sector. I spoke to John Deere’s VP of autonomy and automation, Jorge Heraud, to find out exactly what we could expect from the first name in self-driving tractors in the future.  ... ' 

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