Friday 23rd April 2021

Monarch Tractor: The smart, fully electric, autonomous tractor

Published on December 10th, 2020

Monarch Tractor introduced the fully electric, driver optional, smart tractor integrated on a single platform. Farmers today face numerous challenges including labour shortages, effects of climate change, safety concerns, increased customer scrutiny for sustainability demands, government regulations, and more.

Monarch Tractor addresses these issues by combining electrification, automation, machine learning, and data analysis to enhance farmer’s existing operations, increase labour productivity and safety, and maximise yields to cut overhead costs and emissions. The company has secured several hundred working farms as preliminary customers.

“Monarch Tractor is ushering in the digital transformation of farming with unprecedented intelligence, technology and safety features,” says Praveen Penmetsa, co-founder & CEO, Monarch Tractor. “We have assembled a world-class team of farmers, engineers, and scientists to meet today’s farming demands and are empowering farmers by giving them intelligent tools to collect more predictive data to implement sustainable practices, better share their story and make more money.

Hundreds of farmers have signed on to receive a Monarch Tractor and we look forward to delivering a new level of sustainability and efficiency to their existing farm operations.”

Key features of the Monarch Tractor include:

  • Renewable technology – Traditional diesel tractors produce roughly 14 times the emissions as the average car. The Monarch Tractor is 100% electric and has zero tailpipe emissions. It also serves as a 3-in-1 electrification tool operating not only as a tractor, but with extra storage acts as an ATV, and has the capabilities to perform as a powerful generator in the field.
  • Driver optional – The Monarch Tractor can operate with or without a driver. The company utilises the latest autonomous hardware and software technology to provide driver-assist and driver-optional operations. The tractor can perform pre-programmed tasks without a driver or an operator can use Monarch’s interactive automation features including Gesture and Shadow modes to have the tractor follow a worker on the job.
  • Unprecedented safety – The Monarch Tractor is packed with safety features including roll and collision prevention, vision-based Power Take Off (PTO) safety and 360° cameras to keep operations running smoothly and employees safe, day or night.
  • Deep learning & sensing suite – The Monarch Tractor collects and analyses over 240GB of crop data every day it operates in the field. It can work with farmers’ current implements as well as the next generation of smart implements. Sensors and imaging are processed to provide critical data points that can be used for real-time implement adjustments as well as long term yield estimates, current growth stages and other plant/crop health metrics. Utilising machine learning, Monarch Tractor is able to digest this data and provide long-term analysis of field health, improving accuracy the longer it runs. Additionally, the data collected is securely stored in a Monarch cloud.
  • Smart device operation – Via a smartphone or personal device, users receive tractor alerts, updates on current micro-weather conditions, detailed operations reports, data collection, analysis, and storage for more efficient farm planning.
  • Powerful – Monarch Tractor’s electric drivetrain is capable of providing 40HP (30KW) of continuous power and short duration peak power up to 70HP (55KW) in a small footprint for multi-purpose usage.

“As a fourth-generation farmer, I’ve seen firsthand the hazards that farming presents not just to workers, but to the environment as well,” says Carlo Mondavi, chief farming officer, Monarch Tractor. “Monarch Tractor is moving farming toward a safer and sustainable future by eliminating harmful emissions, reducing the need for herbicides and keeping workers out of harm’s way with its driver-optional capabilities.”

“Adopting sustainable farming practices is core to our family and company values,” says Aly Wente, director of marketing, Wente Vineyards. “We are pleased to partner with Monarch Tractor to further reduce our carbon footprint in 2021 by adding two new Monarch Tractors to our vineyard operations. We look forward to learning how Monarch can continue to help us create a more sustainable future, while also providing an efficient and safe environment for our teams.”

Monarch Tractor has received critical acclaim for its innovation. The company received “2020 Tractor of the Year” in the AgTech Breakthrough Awards, was named one of World Ag Expo’s “Top 10 Best New Products,” and recognised in Fast Company’s “Best World-Changing Ideas: North America, Energy and Food.”

“The Monarch Tractor’s autonomous features take it from just an environmental sustainability idea to a really higher productivity implement,” says Jim Hoffmann, owner, Hopville Farms. “There are a lot of ‘must do’ things on the farm that you would like to see done autonomously and not dedicating people to having them do… this tractor can do it more efficiently.”

Monarch Tractor has a starting price of $50,000 (€41300.13) and can be reserved now with a fully refundable $500 (€413) deposit. Shipping will commence in Fall 2021.

To see the Monarch Tractor in action, watch this video.

For more information, Click here.

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