First cloud-based platform for driverless tractors

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 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."

AutoCart Features:
- Wireless Tablet Based Control App
- Realtime Coverage Tracking
- Combine and Tractor Data Plans
- Cloud data backup and storage
- Upgrades and Service
- JoyStick Integration
- Operation Setup Tools
- Speed Controls
- Path Planning
- Real Time Machine Location Monitoring
- Remote Operation Management
- Boundary Setup/Modification

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.