Sima 2022: Krone and Lemken unveil autonomous hybrid tractor

The second iteration of Krone and Lemken’s triumphantly named ‘Combined Powers’ prototype promises a new, driverless generation of implement handling.

The fully autonomous tractor-like machine is powered by a 230hp diesel-electric engine which runs three individual electric motors; one to drive the front wheels, one for the rears, and another for the implement.

See also: British firm develops tracked electric ATVs

When working in a field, obstacle detection comes by way of a combination of cameras and lidar sensors to give a 360deg view.

Fixed obstacles can be programmed and safely navigated around and, for moving obstacles, a pair of invisible radius barriers help the machine to decide how to react.

If it detects something within the outer radius, it will slow down, whereas a breach of the inner radius will result in an immediate stop.

The camera feed can also be accessed from an app, where managers can monitor the machine’s progress and location.

The two manufacturers have high hopes for the third-generation model ahead of its scheduled update next year, which will see resolutions to current teething problems.

The current 300-litre diesel tank is due to be swapped out for something with a higher capacity to enable longer running time, and it is expected to sport a front attachment point to match the three-point linkage at the rear.

A road transport solution is also in the works to enable the process unit to be towed to the field on its own wheels by a tractor – which is a marked improvement on the current need for a trailer to ferry it around.

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