ETSI demos world's first tractor that communicates with and warns cars

13 Dec 2018

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has exhibited what it said is the world’s first tractor that can communicate with a car and warn it of its location.

The “talking” tractor was shown at ETSI’s annual IoT event at Sophia Antipolis technology park close to Nice in France late October and is aiming to helping prevent road traffic collisions between tractors and other vehicles, particularly in rural areas, the standard body said.

“Every year, almost 400 fatal accidents are caused in Europe by farm vehicles that are not clearly visible on the road, especially in rural areas,” ETSI said in a statement.

“Drivers are surprised by tractors traveling at much lower speeds than their car, and occupying the entire width of the road, which means that the drivers cannot take evasive action or brake in time. Constructors of farm machinery are trying to mitigate these risks by halving the number of fatal accidents by 2035.”

The tractor, which is a John Deere R-series tractor, can be connected to other vehicles and can communicate warnings with them using a communication protocol standardized by ETSI.

Motorist receive a warning at a distance of up to 1km away from the farm vehicle, enabling them to sufficiently brake on time and preventing collisions.

The two vehicles communicate with each other through the use of visual and sound signals to warn of their presence, ETSI said.

“The European Commission wanted to improve road safety between farm vehicles and other vehicles. John Deere responded to this demand by equipping its tractors with modems,” explains Christophe Gossard, head of European Regulatory Affairs at John Deere.

“But, more importantly, the different road-going vehicles and their means of communication had to be interoperable. So, it was only natural for us to join ETSI, the only European standardization organization with the necessary experience in these areas.”

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