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Friday, 27 August 2021 10:55

JD invests in robotics

Written by  Mark Daniel
John Deere has recently bought Silicon Valley start-up company Bear Flag Robotics, which specialises in autonomous driving technologies, for US$250 million. John Deere has recently bought Silicon Valley start-up company Bear Flag Robotics, which specialises in autonomous driving technologies, for US$250 million.

Global giant Deere and Co has acquired Silicon Valley start-up company Bear Flag Robotics, which specialises in autonomous driving technologies for existing plant and machinery.

The US$250m purchase is said to support John Deere’s long-term strategy to create smaller machines incorporating advanced technology. The company has worked with Bear Flag since 2019, successfully deploying autonomous solutions on a limited number of North American farms.

“Deere and Co views autonomy as an important step towards enabling farmers and growers to leverage their resources to feed the world, while at the same time creating more sustainable and profitable operations,” JD chief technology officer Jahmy Hindman says.

Meanwhile, closer to home, technicians who help to keep Australian and New Zealand farmers running and support the productivity of the nation’s agriculture sector will be honoured at the inaugural John Deere Technician Awards. Often seen as the quiet achievers, relied upon to deliver services integral to farmers’ and construction machinery contractors’ businesses, the awards will “celebrate their contribution to their industries and local communities”.

John Deere Australia and New Zealand managing director Luke Chandler says the awards are an opportunity to recognise the hard work and skill offered by these individuals.

“Who are not celebrated enough for the fundamental role they play in assisting both their customers, communities, and their industry reach full potential.”

Dealerships have been asked to put forward their top technicians, with more than 110 nominations received from across both Australia and NZ, in four different categories. These cover Ag & Turf Service Technician of the Year, Construction & Forestry Service Technician of the Year, Parts Technician of the Year and Apprentice of the Year. “These awards will not only recognise individuals, but also celebrate the important contribution technicians make to the farm and construction sectors and demonstrate to those considering moving into this field just how rewarding and varied a career with John Deere as a technician can be,” says Chandler.

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