While Google is doing road testing on its autonomous car, John Deere has been selling tractors that are able to drive themselves on America’s farms for years. To be fair, self driving tractors are technically less complicated than the self driving cars that Google is coming up with. On top of that, self driving tractors mostly run on private land therefore, there is no federal rules imposed on them and they have lower level of risk compared with other self driving vehicle.
However, both of self driving tractor and self driving car do share a common risk which is they are hackable. It means that other people from other place will be able to access the system and take control of the vehicle to do whatever they want.
How does a self driving tractor works? At first, the driver needs to drive the first curved row manually as well as handle the first turn himself in order to teach the autonomous tractor the layout of the farm. However, after that, the driver can let go of the steering wheel and the tractor will be able to do the rest of the farm by itself.
John Deere has already selling autonomous tractors and other self-guidance tech in more than 100 countries as mentioned by Cory Reed, Vice President of the company’s Intelligent Solutions Group.