Tractors will need to change to keep up with demand, and from simply being a vehicle that is currently electronically supported, to becoming a genuine data driven farm vehicle with a digital connection system.
And tyres will play a key role in the evolution, if BKT has anything to do with it.
What BKT is alerting to is the a theme known as Agriculture 4.0 that is being adopted by engineers and designer tasked with producing tractors of the future that will be data driven.
Agriculture 4.0 will integrate the work carried out in the paddock with advanced technology.
The result will be a new form of agriculture, that aims to improve the yield and sustainability of harvests, as well as transform work conditions to be less reliant on an in cab operator.
With the growth in digital technology, engineers want to give more access to data that cross-references environmental, climatic, and land-related factors.
This will enable farmers to take targeted action, carrying out work more effectively within critical timeframes.
With the data already available from software systems installed on machinery, it is already possible to track and certify produce from the paddock to a higher level of efficiency.
Precision agriculture in recent years, combined with digitalization, has shown system engineers how an overall approach to work in the paddock can lead to increased produce.
With the rising population and the consequent demand for more food it is clear that are telling us clearly that the agricultural sector will play a major role in maintaining a sustainable global economy.
Piero Torassa, Field Engineer of BKT Europe explains the role that BKT will play in this process.
“Technology, similarly to finance or infrastructure, must support this crucial process of change.
“The tyre industry too can play a part in this process, by creating products which do not damage the land, for example, or by reducing the carbon footprint of materials, activities which BKT has already been engaged in for years.
“ Besides this, the collaboration with partners in the original equipment sector and in the aftermarket helps us be ready to find the best solutions for our customers; the challenges will increasingly be in terms of growth not in regard to our competitors, if we all want to contribute to sustainable development.” Piero adds.
There are great expectations from the Agriculture 4.0 thrust and according to numerous studies, internationally there are already thousands of start-ups.
Projects underway, working on developing applications for Agriculture 4.0, can be found in Europe, North and Central America, Asia and Australia.
The scientific community now realise that besides the macro issues more closely tied to the food chain, it is how the emerging digital agricultural machinery will be able to improve food production.
A key element for increased yields from crops, will be how farm machines and the tractor of the future will be able to perform to a higher level of production.
The proposed profile of the tractor of the future will be a machine that transforms into a real digital connection systems.
Should circumstances insist on an operator inside a cabin, it will incorporate the highest level of comfort available.
There will be at least three monitors to provide real-time data. Weather conditions will continually update from GPS and sensor information.
On the ground working conditions will consequently be adapting to the ideal tyre pressure.
While consumption from fuel or electric engines will constantly be monitored as will forecasts of working times and much more.
For more advanced self-driving vehicles, without an onboard operator, this information will be monitored from the farm managers desk.
Piero Torassa of BKT concludes, “Now we are focusing on what will happen after, changing our very outlook on the future, increasingly sharing a green approach.
“A logical consequence of this approach for us has been, for example, the launch of in-house carbon production last year.”
For BKT, however, a more advanced approach is nothing new as it has studied and created specific tyres, with differing characteristics depending on the surface and work being undertaken by the machinery, help reduce soil compaction. The BKT AGRIMAX radial tyre range has been created to meet the needs of Agriculture 4.0. In some models in particular Increased Flexion (IF) and Very High Flexion (VF) technologies have been applied.