World’s first production-line OEM contract for autonomous combines is Russian
The PALESSE GS12 combine harvester enjoys a 75% market share in Belarus for agricultural manufacturer Gomselmash. The machine complies with all EU standards whilst also being manufactured directly in Russia, China and Kazakhstan. This week it has been announced that ALL Russian made GS12s, built under the Bryanskselmash name (a JV between Belarus and Russia) will now be fitted as standard with Cognitive Pilot’s AI-based autonomous driving technology ‘Cognitive Agro Pilot’.
Cognitive Pilot is an autonomous driving technology joint venture of Sberbank and Cognitive Technologies group. The company’s Cognitive Agro Pilot is an autonomous AI-based driving system for farming equipment such as grain combine harvesters, tractors, and sprayers. It includes an autonomous unit to manage farm equipment, a video camera, a display, a set of connecting cables, and other control system elements. The user interface is available via an Android mobile app for smartphones or rugged tables.
How does Cognitive Agro Pilot work?
The system analyses images from just one video camera and, by using a deep learning convolutional neural network fine-tuned for agronomic purposes, understands the types and positions of objects facing the machinery, builds movement trajectories, and sends commands to perform manoeuvres.
Cognitive Agro Pilot precisely sees the surrounding environment and works without GPS satellite signals and RTK corrections.
‘The world’s first production-line OEM contract for autonomous combines’
From June to October 2020, over 350 New Holland, John Deere and Claas autonomous combines equipped with the Cognitive Agro Pilot system farmed over 160,000 hectares of field and harvested more than 720,000 tons of crops. Now through the PALESSE GS12 manufacturing agreement with Belarusian-Russian harvester maker Bryanskselmash, Cognitive Pilot claim that the world’s first production-line OEM contract for autonomous combines will be in Russia – fitted at build not as later technology enhancements.
Olga Uskova, CEO of Cognitive Pilot said “Bryanskselmash is a real trendsetter, one of Russia’s leading enterprises actively introducing innovative solutions into its products. From now on, the world’s first mass-produced agri robots, equipped with Cognitive Pilot AI, will roll off the factory’s production line. This is a significant bid to expand the company’s market share not only in Russia, but also abroad.”
Andrey Shilin, Chief Engineer at Bryanskselmash said “We have already conducted large-scale field tests of the Cognitive Agro Pilot system installed on our PALESSE combines. These works were carried out both in Russia and Belarus. Following the results, we have decided to equip KZS-1218 “DESNA-POLESSE GS12” combine harvesters with Cognitive Agro Pilot system as a standard.
“We expect that the availability of artificial intelligence in our combines will improve their competitiveness, will increase sales and will provide farmers with a good tool to significantly improve the efficiency of harvesting.” concluded Shilin.
Recently Cognitive Pilot and Rosagroleasing – Russia’s largest state-owned agro industrial leasing company, also announced the first leases for the AI-based agricultural technology. This will make equipment available to a wide class of domestic agricultural enterprises, seeking to improve their efficiency, including both medium sized companies and SMEs. The Cognitive Agro Pilot system reduces harvesting time by an average of 25% whilst reducing direct crop losses by between 8 and 13%.