Yanmar has announced upgrades to its autonomous tractor series, which the Japanese manufacturer says are capable of full or partially autonomous work. The new models are set to go on sale in Japan from 1 April 2021.

Recent years have seen an increase in large-scale farming in Japan, brought on by consolidation of smaller farms into larger enterprises.

At the same time, a declining and ageing farming population has led to workforce shortages in Japanese agriculture.

The tractor manufacturer expects autonomous tractors to play a big role in the future and has recently unveiled its updated autonomous range which includes the YT488A (88hp), 498A (98hp), 4104A (104hp), and the flagship 5113A (113hp).

Yanmar’s latest autonomous range will utilise a multi-frequency antenna for stable connection and higher positioning accuracy towards a safer, even more efficient autonomous tractor.


By receiving signals at three different frequencies from the GNSS satellite – the multi-frequency antenna – Yanmar said it can ensure safe driving, even if the signal is interrupted on one of the frequencies.

In addition, it says the positioning time is reduced by 75% allowing work to commence soon after arrival at the field.

The manufacturer said that, up to now, by receiving both signal from the GNSS satellite and a correction from a base station, it was possible to achieve precision of ±3cm.

Multi-frequency system

The new system receives a multi-frequency signal, allowing the tractor to receive local reference point positioning data to determine its position via a virtual reference station (VRS). This means it is no longer necessary to install a base station and the system can be used anywhere mobile signal is available.

VRS system

With the increased positioning stability of the tractor, it means it can carry out tasks such as precision work at speeds as low as 0.5km/h.

“With these new models, Yanmar offers farmers even more value with more robust positioning technology that allows even greater flexibility in the field,” said Nagamori Masuda, Yanmar Agribusiness president.