Monarch Reveals Autonomous E-tractor
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Monarch Reveals Autonomous E-tractor

Farm work is hard, but what if you could outsource it to an AI? One that could work a field with all the expertise you had?

California startup Monarch Tractor has been developing a smart tractor for two years, and now the company has released its MK-V Founder Series of all-electric tractors that can operate autonomously. It comes with the energy-efficient NVIDIA Jetson AI platform, which can provide data analysis to help farmers improve field safety, streamline their farming operations, lower the amount of herbicides used, and reduce their carbon emissions, all while helping to boost overall profits.

“With precision ag, autonomy and AI, data will decrease the volume of chemicals used, which is good for the soil, good for the farmer from a profitability standpoint, and good for the consumer,” said Praveen Penmetsa, CEO of Monarch Tractor.

Monarch is pushing the eco-friendly angle hard, saying that replacing a comparable diesel tractor with one of its electric models would equate to removing 14 ICE passenger vehicles from the road.

The MK-V offers up 52 kW of peak motor power to all four wheels. It has nine forward gears and three reverse gears, and the battery pack runs for about 14 hours depending on how hard you work the tractor. If you need to use the tractor for a longer period of time, you can pop out the battery and swap in a fresh one. And, if necessary, the tractor can act as a power source for other tools or equipment in the field.

To get into a little more nitty-gritty on the smart features, the MK-V has (in addition to the NVIDIA AI system) two 3D cameras and six imaging cameras to provide driver-assist or undertake pre-programmed operations without a driver. It also comes with collision prevention, and it will come to a complete stop if it detects a person within 5 feet of it. It’ll also automatically shut itself down if it detects a human limb within 1 foot of the power take-off.

Monarch Tractor will begin deliveries soon to its first customer: Constellation Brands, which includes Corona Extra, Modelo Especial, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, and High West Whiskey in its portfolio.


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