NEWS RELEASE   January 12, 2022

John Deere announces first autonomous tractor for large-scale production

Photograph of autonomous John Deere 8R Tractor in a paddock

John Deere announces first autonomous tractor for large-scale production.

Crestmead, Queensland (12 January, 2022) — THE unveiling of John Deere's first entirely autonomous tractor for large-scale use at the prestigious CES® 2022 Awards in Las Vegas has placed autonomous technology at the farmgate, with the machine on course to be available to farmers in the US as early as this year.

The tractor combines John Deere's popular 8R Tractor, TruSet™-enabled chisel plough, and GPS guidance system to deliver the next iteration of farming innovation in a product that will be ideally suited to meet the demands of broadacre cropping in New Zealand, with unprecedented efficiency.

John Deere Managing Director Australia/New Zealand, Luke Chandler, said the tractor was the culmination of industry-leading technology and a dedicated vision to provide farmers with tools to produce safe and nutritious food and fibre to a growing global population.

"With the world population forecast to increase to nearly 10 billion people by 2050 global food demand is predicted to grow by 50%, meaning farmers will need to be as efficient and sustainable as possible in every phase of production," Mr Chandler said.

"To assist in bridging that gap, John Deere is continually advancing technology to help farmers meet this challenge and to do so while working with reduced access to land and skilled labour, changing climate and weather conditions, variations in soil quality and the presence of weeds and pests.

"This autonomous tractor is an extremely exciting innovation that will help to ensure New Zealand farmers have the opportunity to adopt era-defining AgTech to address these challenges and to support high-performing and sustainable farm businesses."

The autonomous tractor operates within less than 2.5cm of accuracy and is continuously checking its position relative to a virtual geofence. Six pairs of stereo cameras enable 360-degree obstacle detection and calculate distance, with the images captured by the cameras passing through a neural network that classifies each pixel in approximately 100 milliseconds. This determines if the machine continues to move or stops, depending on if an obstacle is detected.

John Deere Australia/ New Zealand Production Systems Manager, Ben Kelly, emphasised the transformative nature of the technology to farming operations. 

"As New Zealand farmers continue to be faced with limited availability of skilled labour, access to autonomous machinery for large-scale production has never been so important," Mr Kelly said.

"With this new tractor, it is as simple as transporting the machine to a field and configuring it for autonomous operation. Then, using John Deere Operations Center, farmers can swipe from left to right to start the machine and can leave the field to focus on other tasks, while monitoring its status from their mobile device."

John Deere Operations Center™ provides access to live video, images, data, and allows farmers to adjust speed, depth and more from the mobile app. In the event of job quality anomalies or machine health issues, farmers are notified remotely and can make adjustments to optimise the performance of the machine.

"The tractor will be available to a limited number of US customers for purchase this year, before it is rolled out gradually to other countries, including New Zealand, over the next few years," Mr Chandler said.

"As the first commercially available autonomous solution for large-scale farming operations in the industry, we are excited to see the real-life impact these machines will have on the way we farm and, ultimately, feed the world."

For more information, speak with your local dealer or visit John Deere's CES website:

About John Deere:
Deere & Company is a global leader in the delivery of agricultural, golf & turf, construction, and forestry equipment. We help our customers push the boundaries of what's possible in ways that are more productive and sustainable to help life leap forward. Our technology-enabled products including the John Deere Autonomous 8R Tractor and See & Spray™ are just two of the ways we help meet the world's increasing need for food, shelter, and infrastructure. Deere & Company also provides financial services through John Deere Financial. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at or in New Zealand at

Media Contacts:

Stacey Wordsworth
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Hannah Hardy
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