The company the Autonomous Tractor Corporation, which invented the autonomous, and cab-less tractor Spirit in 2013, has developed an aftermarket package to turn any tractor, no matter the brand, into an autonomous vehicle. The package is called AutoDrive, a safety navigation and implement management system that allows for autonomous operation. It taps into the electronics onboard the tractor and, using sensors, lasers, radio signals and artificial intelligence software, takes over the controls, without the need for a driver.
In order for AutoDrive to work, tractors must be equipped with a diesel-electric drivetrain, which enables all functions to be controlled electronically. ATC sells a diesel-electric drivetrain package under the name eDrive, which you can read about here.
Once the drivetrain is “electrified,” AutoDrive takes over all of the functions needed for the tractor to run, steer, and think for itself, as well as operate an implement behind it.
The eDrive electric drivetrain package is available today, and the autonomous package, AutoDrive, will be available later this year. Check out this gallery showing how a used tractor goes from traditional to driverless.