Earlier this year we reported on a diesel-electric powertrain replacement package called eDrive that turns your current tractor into a diesel-electric hybrid. It is made by the same company, Autonomous Tractor Corporation, that designed Spirit, the prototype tractor that the company says is the first truly autonomous farm tractor.
Yesterday ATC announced that it just sold the first of these drivetrain packages to FarmilyFarms Group, a farm business consulting group headquartered near St. Louis, Mo. The sale is a big move for two reasons: 1) FamilyFarm Group’s clients, who are farmers, represent more than 1.5 million acres of row crop production throughout North America, and 2) the electric drivetrain is the enabling technology behind making tractors capable of autonomous control.
“I wanted to let you know that [through this the sale of the drivetrain package] ATC took its first commercial steps in putting truly autonomous tractors (meaning no driver, not driver-assistance) into farmers' hands to help with their field work,” says ATC’s CEO Kraig Schulz in an email to Farm Industry News. “While Tesla, Google and others are rapidly transforming the automotive market with electric and autonomous technology ATC is the first company to bring this technology to the farm.”
ATC is taking additional orders for its drivetrain now. “We’ve also launched a fundraising campaign on AgFunder, so any accredited investor nationwide can invest in our company,” Shulz says.