The future of [ agriculture ] Laying the groundwork for sustainable agriculture. Kubota’s fully automated electric tractor.
Agriculture, facing a growing world population, climate change, fewer farmers, and an aging population. Kubota’s technologies tackle these issues for a better future.
Fully automated electric tractor VISION Improving productivity and reducing environmental impact with smart agriculture.
Establishing sustainable agriculture is essential for maintaining the “food” that supports life. One way to achieve this is through smart agriculture, symbolized by a fully automated electric tractor. This tractor can, for example, collect and analyze various data such as weather conditions and crop growth conditions. Powered by clean energy, it will follow the optimal path with high precision and perform the required work when needed. Smart agriculture will enable to even remotely manage the water supply of the fields. It will promote Earth-friendly agriculture by leveraging data and labor-saving operations to produce more efficient crops.
Kubota will continually advance to realize sustainable agriculture.
Fully automated electric tractor TECHNOLOGY #01 Kubota started developing agricultural machinery to save Japan from post-war food shortages.
After WWII in 1945, Japan faced a severe food shortage caused by repeated poor weather and labor shortages, causing many people to be on the brink of starvation. In an effort to overcome this situation, Kubota started research and development of agricultural machinery and introduced the cultivator in 1947, a pioneer in agricultural machinery. From then on, we developed a succession of agricultural machinery, including tractors, rice transplanters, binders, and combine harvesters.
Kubota’s agricultural machinery contributed to Japan’s post-war food production boom.
Fully automated electric tractor TECHNOLOGY #02 Japan’s continuing decline and aging of farmers. Automated and unmanned agricultural machinery aims to save agriculture from this crisis.
Japan’s commercial farming population, which was about 10.46 million in 2000, is expected to decline to about 3.23 million by 2025*. This means that large areas of land will have to be farmed by fewer farmers. It is also predicted that the rate of aging farmers 65 and over will increase from about 28% to 47%. In response, Kubota has been developing automated and unmanned agricultural machinery to reduce the farmers’ workload and improve efficiency at production sites. These machines will be easy to operate, even for people unfamiliar with farming, and ensure a high level of safety. * "Future Projections of the Farming Population Based on Cohort Analysis,” Norinchukin Research Institute Co. Ltd., 2007
That is Kubota’s challenge to sustain the future of agriculture.
Fully automated electric tractor TECHNOLOGY #03 One of Kubota’s answers for sustainable agriculture: Agricultural machinery with zero carbon emissions.
Global warming is an inseparable issue for the future of agriculture. As the impact of greenhouse gases emitted by the agricultural sector cannot be ignored, demand for low-environmental impact agricultural machinery is ever increasing. Kubota has started research on zero-emission agricultural machinery, not only by improving existing power sources, but also by utilizing electric drive and fuel cell batteries. Compared to automobiles, agricultural machinery requires higher horsepower yet must be more sustainable, and requires a higher amount of energy to withstand the harsh environments of the fields. Through repeated improvements based on verification tests in Europe and the needs of the agricultural community, a small tractor, for example, can now handle a half day’s work on an hour’s charge.
Kubota is dedicating all our efforts to research Earth-friendly agriculture.
Fully automated electric tractor TECHNOLOGY #04 Shifting from automatic to autonomous driving. A fully automated electric tractor realized by end-to-end AI platform.
In 2020, Kubota launched a strategic partnership with American semiconductor manufacturer NVIDIA Corporation to accelerate research into automated and unmanned agricultural machinery by introducing NVIDIA’s end-to-end AI platform. The high-performance Edge AI developed by using this end-to-end AI platform will be installed in agricultural machinery to recognize details such as “humans,” “animals,” and “weeds,” which were previously only detected as “obstacles.” This will make it possible, not only to make highly urgent decisions such as stopping and avoiding obstacles essential for automated driving, but also to understand soil and crop growth conditions. Based on such information, the AI-installed agricultural machinery can learn to make the appropriate decisions and perform the necessary tasks.
All our efforts for sustainable agriculture. Kubota will also promote co-creation with our partners.
Supporting the well-being of all who produce, all who deliver, and all who eat. Kubota will continually advance for sustainable agriculture.