The following is an excerpt from SHARA TIBKEN | October 25, 2018 | CNET.com |
This is part of CNET's "Crossing the Broadband Divide" series exploring the challenges of getting internet access to everyone.
I sit in a massive green tractor, called a sprayer, as we drive down the field. A tablet in the machine's cabin shows a map with blue rectangles marking where we've applied chemicals. Soon, I can see another sprayer pop up on the map, with the ground another farmer has covered highlighted in a different shade of blue.
When my machine gets near the other farmer's area, my sprayer automatically turns off to avoid overlapping and wasting chemicals. A third farmer in a remote office is able to monitor our progress on an iPad.
What I'm demoing is John Deere's technology that lets machines talk to other machines, part of an industry-wide push that's known as "precision agriculture." That particular Deere feature, called Section Control, can be found in sprayers and tractors for planting seeds. It lets farmers run multiple machines in the same field, saving time and chemicals. It reduces costs for farmers, lowers the environmental impact and makes everything more efficient.
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