In the 2015 movie Interstellar, autonomous farm vehicles, like combines, were all the rage:
(Autonomous combines in Interstellar)
Farm-based cience fiction remember the robomule that pulled the plough in Harry Harrison's 1965 novel Bill the Galactic Hero.
The self-guided tractor from At the Bottom of a Hole (1966), by Larry Niven, is an example of doing farm work autonomously in space:
Five miles above the sunlight tube, the sky was a patchwork of small squares, split by a central wedding ring of lake and by tributary rivers, a sky alive with the tiny red glints of self-guided tractors.
(Read more about Larry Niven's self-guided tractor)
However, actual tractor manufacturers have been doing their own dreaming and creating.
(CNH Industrial Autonomous Tractor Concept Video)
Case IH and CNH Industrial’s Innovation Group based the cabless autonomous concept on an existing Case IH Magnum™ tractor with reimagined styling. The vehicle was built for a fully interactive interface to allow for remote monitoring of preprogrammed operations. The onboard system automatically accounts for implement widths and plots the most efficient paths depending on the terrain, obstructions and other machines in use in the same field. The remote operator can supervise and adjust pathways via a desktop computer or portable tablet interface.
Through the use of radar, LiDAR (light imaging, detection, and ranging) and onboard video cameras, the vehicle can sense stationary or moving obstacles in its path and will stop on its own until the operator, notified by audio and visual alerts, assigns a new path...
Multiple autonomous vehicles could be put to work in one field or separate fields, on the same tasks or consecutive ones. It could allow a person working with no employees to operate multiple tractors, or could complement very large operations that have challenges finding ample skilled workers.
Read more about it, and see more pictures and videos, at NextBigFuture.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/17/2017)