Mahindra driverless tractor technology will be introduced into the Indian and global portfolio in the due course
Mahindra has acquired Erkunt Traktor Sanayii AS, a Turkish tractor maker, and its foundry business for Rs. 800 crore. It is worth noting that the brand already bought 75.1 percent in Hisarlar earlier this year, a Turkish farm equipment producer. The buyout effectively gives Mahindra access to the fourth largest agricultural machinery market in the world.
As part of the deal, Mahindra will acquire full share capital of Erkunt Traktor and at least 80 percent of Erkunt Sanayii A.S. It markets and exports tractors under ArmaTrac brand. Founded in 2003, Erkunt Traktor sold a total of 4,700 tractors while posting revenues of 314 million Turkish Lira and the variety of 23 tractor models range between 50 HP and 110 HP.
A few days ago, Mahindra introduced the first ever driverless tractor developed at the brand’s state-of-the-art Research Valley located in Chennai recently. With the unique proposition, the driverless tractor is aiming to set the standards up high for local as well as global farmers. This innovation is believed to change the future of farming by increasing productivity and leading to increased food production.
The driverless tractor concept is in line with the company’s Farming 3.0 proposition. Combining with the ‘DiGiSENSE’ technology launched last year, the driverless tractor is said to offer distinct advantage to Indian farmers and eliminate the labour scarcity. The impressive technology will be employed across Mahindra tractor platforms in the due course.
It intends to help farmers work in their fields for long hours without exposing to harsh weather or difficult operating conditions and protect themselves from potential health hazards. It will also play a pivotal role in Mahindra’s presence across international markets such as US and Japan as the driverless tractors are said to give the brand a competitive edge.
Mahindra has planned to offer the new technology throughout its range of tractors from 20 HP to 100 HP in the near future. The unique features in the driverless tractor are Autosteer, Auto-headland turn, Skip passing and Auto-implement lift.
Autosteer is a GPS based technology enabling a tractor travelling along a straight line while the Auto-headland turn will help in orientation along adjacent rows for continuous operation without any external steering input from the farmer. The Auto-implement lift automatically lifts the work tool from the ground at the end of a row and lowers the tool after the tractor orients itself for operation on the next row.
The Skip passing will aid in steering to the next row for continuous operation without intervention of the driver. The driverless tractor also comes loaded with safety features such as Geofence lock, Control via Tablet User Interface and Remote Engine Start Stop.
The Geofence lock prevents tractor from going outside the boundaries; the Control via Tablet User Interface enables farmer to program various inputs needed to farm efficiently and allows for controlling it remotely via a tablet; the Remote Engine Start Stop helps in bringing the engine to a halt and in cases of emergency.