Kubota Corp. has unveiled the "X tractor - cross tractor -" concept during a new product exhibition held in Kyoto City, Japan. The tractor commemorates the 130th anniversary of the founding of the company.
The concept tractor is equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) and electrification technology, and is also completely autonomous to represent Kubota's vision for the future of farming.
Kubota says it will continue developing products to realize smart agriculture with cutting-edge technology to address the challenges facing Japanese farmers. Like many parts of the world, Japan is facing a decline in the number of people farming the land so smart technologies like automation are necessary to overcome labor shortages.
Key features of the autonomous concept tractor
The company focused on four main aspects when developing the "X tractor - cross tractor -".
- Inclusion of autonomous and electrification technology provides a vision for the next-generation of tractor designs.
- Following and advancing of the identity of Kubota tractors, a smooth shape was created through awareness of environmental protection and harmony with nature.
Completely unmanned operation by AI
- Based on various data such as weather and growth rates, AI chooses the appropriate operation and makes actions timely. Kubota's goal is to achieve a completely autonomous operation.
- The environmental data obtained by tractors in operation can be automatically shared with other machines at a site to realize centrally-managed efficient operation.
Full electrification achieves environmentally friendly farm operation
- The company achieves 100% electric power by using a combination of lithium-ion batteries and solar batteries.
- Full electrification contributes to zero emissions and reduced environmental loads.
One machine for diverse processes
- The four-wheeled crawler achieves stable autonomous driving even on wet paddies and uneven terrains.
- The four-wheeled crawler changes its shape to maintain the tractor height at the optimal level, thus performing in various processes. For the processes which need high traction, the contact area with the ground can be increased by lowering the tractor height in order to lower its center of gravity. When operating above crops, clearance from the ground can be adjusted by increasing the tractor height.
- An in-wheel motor makes it possible to arbitrarily change the rotation speed of the four crawlers (front, rear, right, and left) to achieve a small turning radius for autonomous operation on various types of land.