Changing the Way We Farm
Until recently, electric vehicles have been a niche market. However, in recent years, that has changed drastically, with electric vehicles becoming more and more mainstream. We see them in almost all facets of transportation, from cars and buses to trains and planes. It was only a matter of time before we started to see more and more offerings spill over into agriculture. And that is precisely what is happening with companies like Monarch Tractor.
Monarch Tractor is a startup close to having its first AI-powered, all-electric farming vehicle, dubbed the MK-V, rolling off the production line. This startup’s first product uses Nvidia’s Jetson edge AI platform to perform agricultural tasks with or without a driver behind the wheel. In other words, this intelligent tractor can operate autonomously.
The Benefits of an Electric Farming Tractor
Many benefits come along with using an electric tractor for farming purposes. For starters, they are much cheaper to operate than their gas-powered counterparts. They also produce zero emissions, which is better for the environment and the produce it is cultivating. Electric vehicles also tend to be quieter than gas-powered ones, which is essential for farmers who need to start their tractors early or work late into the night. Monarch says its tractor will produce about half as much noise as a gas-powered tractor. And since electric motors have fewer moving parts than gas engines, they require less maintenance overall.
What separates Monarch Tractor’s MK-V from other electric tractors on the market is its AI capabilities. This allows farmers to focus on other tasks while the tractor does the work. For example, a farmer could drive a combine harvester while the Monarch tractor follows behind, automatically planting seeds. Or, if a farmer wanted to take a break between tasks, they could put the tractor in autonomous mode, and it would continue working while they took a break. The possibilities are endless! Potentially the farmer could have a fleet of eight of these tractors performing functions programmed in advance.
The tractor is fitted with 360-degree awareness (cameras), ensuring it will safely complete its tasks without running over unwanted obstacles. In Monarchs own words:
With a Monarch MK-V your farm employees can do their work safely and confidently. With Collision Prevention, human detection, and PTO protection your farm employees can do their work safely knowing the MK-V tractor will stop moving if it detects a human within five feet of the tractor, and the PTO will automatically shut off if the system detects a human limb within one foot of the PTO.
Additional Benefits of the MK-V Electric Farming Tractor
The first question I had was about battery longevity. How long could one expect the MK-V to run, given battery capacity? Monarch advertises a robust 14+ hour run-time with the current battery configuration. Using an 80 amp charger, the battery will fully recharge from 0 to 100 within 5 to 6 hours. The Monarch MK-V has bidirectional capabilities, meaning farmers will have a portable generator out in the fields. They have even teased the potential of a 24hr run-time, given the battery can be swapped out for a fully charged one to keep the party going!
The MK-V tractor has a turning radius of only 9 ft, making it one of the most nimble tractors on the market.
Electric vehicles are having their moment of glory, and Monarch Tractor is leading the charge with its $68,000 innovative AI-powered farming tractor. This smart tractor can operate autonomously, which means farmers can focus on other tasks while it does the work for them. If you are a farmer or interested in agriculture, the first deliveries are estimated for the Summer of 2023. So keep your eye on Monarch Tractor — they are definitely one to watch!
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