Why Autonomy Is Similar But Different Than Auto-steer

Did auto-steer set the stage of autonomy in agriculture? The answer is yes and no. 

More than 20 years ago farmers had a reaction to auto-steer technology of not wanting to be taken out of the tractor cab. Today, due to labor constraints, farmers are lining up to demo solutions such as SmartAg’s AutoCart.

It’s important to note there are three ways autonomy is arriving at the farm:

  •     Dedicated autonomous machines
  •     After-market kits to go on existing equipment
  •     Contracting businesses who provide the equipment for a per acre fee

While farmers are seeking out technology solutions to their business constraints, autonomous technologies are completely unique in how they are literally removing farmers from the machines they have depended on for 80+ years.

One prediction of mine… With auto-steer, as farmers realized the ROI and benefits of the technology, they increased their adoption rate direct from the factory. 

And so as autonomous solutions (in any of the three format given above) prove themselves in the field, they too will have an exponential growth in their demand curve. 

Chip Flory from AgriTalk Radio and I recently discussed these trends: