The world’s first large-scale, truly autonomous row-crop solution is about ready to hit the fields with more added features. Iowa-based Kinze® Manufacturing, Inc. just completed field-testing of its system that will also include new features this year, such as the ability to run multiple combines and autonomous carts in the field simultaneously.
The autonomous system automatically chooses from the multiple carts in the field the one that is most appropriate for the combine operator to unload into when he or she makes a request for a cart. The system also keeps tabs on all the vehicles operating in the field so that the autonomous grain carts always take the safest and most efficient path to the combines.
Any of the combine operators can call any of the autonomous grain carts in the field when ready to unload. The combine operators also have an aerial view of the field from the tractor cab to allow them to see where the other combines are located and where all of the autonomous grain carts are running.
Kinze officials say that having real farmers test out the equipment in their own fields gave the company some great insight into what might need to be changed and improved.