It has a seat and steering wheel, but it will pilot itself while you relax.
Monarch says it has created the first fully electric driver-optional tractor. It uses smart, sustainable technology to make farms more profitable. Yes, it's actually driverless, at least according to Monarch. However, it has a seat, a steering wheel, and the necessary controls if you want to pilot it yourself.
Don't be surprised if we see many more interesting vehicles go electric and autonomous into the future. It just makes sense, and the technology is improving exponentially. It may be a while, but electrification and autonomy will likely make their way into all sorts of vehicles, not just passenger cars. In fact, depending on how you look at it, it may actually make more sense to electrify and "smarten up" large multi-use vehicles, fleets, and the like.
The Monarch electric, autonomous tractor appears to be leaps ahead of other electric tractor prototypes we've seen. It has a 70 horsepower (55 kW) electric motor and can offer twice as much torque as a typical diesel tractor. It features software that will not only make farming easier and more efficient, but also more sustainable and less expensive. You can drive it like a normal tractor, but Monarch has designed it to drive itself and work as part of a fleet of self-driving tractors.
The Monarch tractor can be pre-programmed to handle tasks on its own. In addition, it uses special technology, cameras, and sensors that allow it to follow farmers and other tractors. Like some of the other electric heavy equipment we've seen, the Monarch tractor is a 3-in-1 multi-use vehicle. When you're not using it as a tractor, you can use it as a generator or an all-terrain vehicle.
Monarch says it will begin delivering the tractor in the fall of 2021. It starts at $50,000. You can reserve one today with a $500 deposit. Monarch already has hundreds of reservations. Check out the video above for more information. Then, start a conversation in our comment section below.