Three farmers introduced to Kinze Autonomy during the fall of 2012 have been leasing the harvest system for the 2013 harvest and are using it on their own, the manufacturer reports.
Among features added for the 2013 harvest: A go-to-here feature that allows an operator to send a tractor to a particular spot in the field and wait for unloading instructions, rather than just following the combine.
"After the corn is unloaded into the semi, I instruct the tractor to drive to the best place in the field to wait until I’m ready," says Kent Armstrong, a farmer from Cameron, Ill., who is leasing the Kinze system. "It helps the tractor get to the combine for unloading in the most efficient way possible and opens up the field for combining."
Other new features include an increased range of wireless communication between vehicles, more diagnostic feedback for operators and improved speed of vehicle path planning.
While the autonomous system is not yet available for purchase, Kinze says it is working toward full commercialization.
Click the play button below to watch a video from earlier Kinze Autonomous trials: