The concept tractor was unveiled to help mark Kubota’s 130th anniversary
By Diego Flammini
A tractor manufacturer has its eyes set on the future.
Kubota introduced its ‘X tractor - cross tractor’ at a new product exhibition in Kyoto City, Japan earlier this month.
The introduction of the tractor commemorates the company’s 130th anniversary and marks 50 years since it unveiled its first-ever concept tractor at the Japan World Exposition in 1970.
Kubota's first concept tractor.
The new fully autonomous and fully electric tractor uses lithium and ion batteries. It can help with environmental efforts while also giving producers the operating flexibility they need.
“Based on various data such as weather data and growth rates, (artificial intelligence) chooses the appropriate operation and makes actions timely,” Kubota said in a press release.
“In order to address the challenges which farmers are facing such as labor shortage and low operating efficiency, it is urgently necessary to introduce smart farming,” the company added.
The tractor, which Kubota describes as a “four-wheeled crawler,” can change its shape to keep the tractor at an optimal height and also to change its center of gravity.
Over in North America, some farmers aren’t willing to hand over complete machinery control to artificial intelligence just yet.
Todd Arthur, a cash crop producer from Middlesex County, Ont., for example, prefers to be in the cab of a tractor.
“I’d still like to be in the cab and have some control until I’m convinced that autonomous is the way to go,” he told Farms.com. “It’s more of a personal preference because I like to be out in the field and farm the way I have been farming for years.”
Other producers wouldn’t use the autonomous tractor because it doesn’t suit their operation.
“For my operation I’d still like to have some control of the tractor,” Travis Hunter, a rancher near Didsbury, Alta., told Farms.com. “For me it wouldn’t work but I could see a grain producer with a large acreage using it, for sure.”