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John Deere’s Self-Driving Tractor Stirs Debate on AI in Farming

Will Knight writes for Wired on John Deere’s self-driving tractors.

>>>READ: Eliminating Agricultural Subsidies is Good for People and the Planet<<<

The C3 Take
  • John Deere has released the 8R, its first fully autonomous tractor that uses similar AI and self-driving technology as Tesla.
  • Proponents of the technology believe that this innovation will help farmers, especially as an agricultural labor shortage continues.
  • Others fear that more robotic farming methods will hurt agriculture and give farmers less control over their land.
  • John Deere recently acquired an AI startup that retrofits tractors, a move that could be representative for the future of agriculture.

“Deere has been incorporating more AI and autonomy into its products over the past decade. In August, the company said it had paid $250 million to acquire Bear Flag Robotics, a startup that retrofits tractors to make them more autonomous. In 2017, it paid $305 million to buy Blue River Technology, which makes robots capable of identifying and eliminating unwanted plants using a high-precision blast of herbicide.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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