The last tractor built in Ireland was a Fordson which rolled off the assembly line in Cork in July 1919. One hundred years later, a driverless smart tractor has been built in Ireland, only this time it’s in Co Roscommon.
It’s creator David Doran is exhibiting the driverless smart tractor called iTarra at Agritechnica this week.
When asked about how the name came about, David explained: “Tarra is short for tarracóir, which is tractor in Irish.”
One of the main features of the iTarra is its unique patented hitch system. It doesn't have lift arms, a top link, a pick-up hitch or PTO.
One of the main features of the iTarra is its patented hitch system. David explained: “Forget about lift arms, top links, pick-up hitches, or PTOs. We have developed a much safer system, with a new quick attachment design that comes with auto alignment.”
Once the tractor reverses in to pick up an attachment, the tractor will be guided by sensors. It then locks through a magnetic pin locking system.
David only drew up the plans for the tractor in August.
The iTarra doesn’t require a PTO, it powers the implements through the use of electricity. This means the implement needs to be compatible. To make this work, David is currently partnering with implement manufacturers to produce compatible test units.
The tractor is powered by a CAT power system. It features a hybrid engine, which comes with the option of either diesel and electric or gas and electric, with variable speed electrical motors. The prototype on display is 110kW. David told us that there are more prototypes in the pipeline, including a 220kW, a 330kW and a 500kW version.
The tracks are sourced from a company in Canada.
The tractor has three control modes, the first being autonomous. This works through Topcon’s GPS systems. The second option is through virtual reality which allows the operator to carry out tasks remotely, from anywhere in the world. The final mode is radio control. This allows manual operation of the system on the ground. The tractor must remain within line of sight to operate in this mode.
The tractor has many more capabilities, including an online data platform.
The tractor has three control modes, autonomous, virtual reality or radio control.
Depending on the spec, this tractor will cost between €150,000 and €200,000. Stay tuned to the Irish Farmers Journal for an in-depth report on the iTarra.