California based electric smart tractor startup company, Monarch Tractor, has launched its first AI powered farming vehicle, dubbed as MK-V. It uses the Nvidia’s Jetson edge AI platform in order to perform agriculture related work with or without a driver managing the machine behind wheels.
CEO of Monarch Tractor, Praveen Penmetsa said “The NVIDIA Jetson enables the MK-V to run low-latency, real-time AI applications while at the same time conserving energy for longer battery life and extended run time.”
Each model uses six Jetson Xavier NX system-on-modules which helps them navigate fields just by using 3D cameras, which is an essential part of safety as agricultural environments may not have GPS signals.
Both Monarch and Nvidia jointly said that the tractor collects and analyses crop data daily and can process data from current and next-generation implements equipped with sensors and imaging. This data can be used for real-time implement adjustments, long-term yield estimates, current growth stages and other plant and crop health metrics.
The company raised $61 million during a Series B investment round back in 2021 and since that $110 million dollars were raised. It has also partnered with the company which produces most of the Apple iPhones- Foxconn. Together the companies are working on manufacturing the MK-V at Lordstown, Ohio, the former GM plant.
Many of the tractors out in the farming fields have semi autonomous modes but require a driver at all times. Also they run on diesel gas, whereas MK-V is electrical with driver-optional smarts and seems like a first production model of this kind. “Founder Series” MK-V tractors will be the first six of the model series. It is yet to be known in what countries this machine will be introduced and if more similar products will be built for other areas of work.