Autonomous Vehicles

It is fair to say that as technology improves so do the technological products and services that companies offer. As these products become “better” they are able to do “better” things for us. In fact, some of these products are so good they are able to do a whole task for us. Take for example, self-driving cars. Who thought we would ever get tired of sitting down pushing a pedal with our foot and maneuvering the car left or right. As you can see it is too much work for humans to handle, so why not make vehicles drive themselves? Not only has Uber and Lyft gone a long way to make this possible, agriculture companies have also decided that they too needed some autonomous equipment that could replace if not improve and quicken their harvesting.

Autonomous tractors are the first “robot” that can potentially do field/labor work for 24 hours with at maximum of two people keeping eye on it. In fact, experts already believe that these tractors can “be replaced with self-propelled autonomous implements, such as sprayers in row crops, orchards and vineyards or with other robotic equipment for other specific tasks on the farm”. Unfortunately this means more people will lose their jobs. Kraig Schulz, co-founder and CEO of Autonomous Tractor Corporation believes that these self-driving tractors will be beneficial to California agricultural companies due to the rising labor costs. Also, as time passes the self-driving technologies needed to produce self-driving cars is falling, meaning that they can potentially create autonomous tractors and sell them at an affordable price.

It is great that we are able to upgrade and create technology that is able to improve, quicken, and efficiently finish tasks that humans otherwise would take longer to finish. Autonomous tractors will indefinitely  produce more crops and maintain fields better than a human could. Over all, a autonomous tractor will be able to make less mistakes than a human; thus producing more food and efficient field work. However, this means that a person who is currently working in agriculture can lose their job.

My dad drives a tractor, and although this may make me biased, I will try not to be. I believe that no matter if everyone lost their jobs, autonomous vehicles and other technologies will keep moving forward. I believe that as more technology is created that can do our hard labor means that we slowly putting everyone at a higher stool. It means that humans were meant for something more than just cheap labor.

However, autonomous vehicles also have their cons. Of course it is awesome that they are able to do more work, but what about the implications that they can have. How safe are they? What happens when it goes off the road? How autonomous are they really? These are all questions that can be answered as soon as a autonomous vehicle is tested and tried out by a company. We can only no so much by creating it. The true learning comes from the mistakes that it can potentially make.

Overall, autonomous tractor seems like a great idea the will most definitely begin doing great work.




3 thoughts on “Autonomous Vehicles

  1. Who would have ever thought that sitting down and pushing a pedal would be automated? Self-driving cars have been discussed as futuristic technology but it seems like that time may be near. When speaking about innovation, I also can’t help but think of the self-driving tractor we as humans are constantly seeking ways to improve and the tractor would without a doubt aid the production of crops. Given that we live in the Salad Bowl of the world, we may be one of the first to be exposed to this technology.What I think would help the people that could lose their job to machine is for them to offer their input in the building of the machine. Surely, someone who has been in agricultural labor has some significant experience and advice to offer. Furthermore, an ag worker could be taught how to maintain the machine. I am happy for futuristic technology to arrive but also fear the cons.


  2. Karina,

    I appreciate how optimistic you are about the future of autonomous technology in labor-intensive jobs. I agree that, by using technology to do the most basic work, that it has the potential to open up new avenues of work surrounding the newly-implemented technology – in particular, observation and monitoring of said tech in order to maintain it and ensure it’s doing its job properly. These sort of jobs will require people still skilled in the fields that the autonomous tech works in, that they can judge the work done appropriately and ensure it’s working as intended.


  3. Hello Karina,

    I heard a lot about taxi drivers and other people protesting against Uber which makes me think that if people will actually protest against autonomous cars, in specific about tractors. Of course the reasons will be different but it would be interesting to see. I do think that autonomous cars need a lot of work before releasing them to the public. On the other hand, autonomous tractors seem to be a good idea but then again jobs will decrease. Security is also important, we never know what hackers out there will try to do.


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