John Deere looks to be heading towards autonomous tractors.
The only real problem, particularly for operators of mixed fleets of differing brands, has been the inability of machines to ‘talk’ to one another.
Now comes DataConnect, a venture between Claas, 365 FastNet and John Deere. It’s described as agri engineering’s first direct cloud-to-cloud data exchange solution.
The collaboration is part of the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AIEF) project that allows manufacturers to talk to one another using an agreed common interface.
Currently, farmers or contractors with machinery fleets of differing brands have only been able to record, process and document data using the respective equipment and web portals of the individual brands. But DataConnect allows users to exchange their data via a common interface, and to monitor and control the fleet via the favoured system.
The concept allows users to choose a preferred platform from a specific manufacturer, and to transmit data from other machines via the new interface. This means data will still be available in each of the brand’s portals and this can be exchanged in real time from one cloud to another.
A key benefit means that all machine configurations are available in one system. This enables the exchange of important machinery data, eg past and current location, fuel levels, work status and forward speed.
The system will also likely be able to transmit agronomic data in due course.
DataConnect is scheduled for release at Agritechnica ‘19 in November.