High-tech tractors cultivate a sustainable future


Cambridge Consultants uses radar expertise to develop novel farming technology

The face of traditional farming is rapidly changing to incorporate sophisticated technologies aimed at producing more food with less environmental impact. To support the influx of technology, product development firm Cambridge Consultants is using its expertise to design innovative, low-cost solutions for the farming industry. Its latest device draws on its background in advanced radar technology for a detection system to help agricultural vehicles avoid collisions.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, accidents involving agricultural vehicles are the leading cause of farming deaths in the UK. As farmers load their tractors with more and more automation technology – like auto-steer mechanisms and GPS tracking for precision farming – the risk of collisions with unexpected obstacles increases. The new radar system helps prevent this by protecting the perimeters of the vehicle from potential hazards – giving audible and visual warnings to the driver.

“We have identified a huge demand for this type of agricultural technology as we see a continued increase in advanced farming techniques in the face of impending population growth and food shortages,” said Gary Kemp, programme director at Cambridge Consultants. “We’ve created practical technology that’s simple to operate and install but is also low cost and incredibly effective.”

The radar units are designed to be installed on the front and rear of a vehicle as well as on the boom ends, and can detect multiple collision hazards in a wide field of view which maximises coverage. The technology can process many different moving and stationary obstacles – and instantly send an alert to the driver to warn of a potential collision. The low-frequency (5.8GHz) system is based on standard manufacturing principles, making it a cost-effective solution.

Cambridge Consultants has a long history of expertise in radar systems – ranging from through-wall radar for military and law enforcement needs to radar that can help air traffic controllers accurately track aircraft flying over wind farms.

The company will be showcasing its latest farming technology at the Agritechnica International Exhibition, November 12-15, in Hanover, Germany, hall 17, stand C38.

Facts & figures

  • The patented short-range radar technology provides unbeatable performance from a compact, low-cost sensor
  • The sensor simultaneously tracks multiple objects in 3D over a wide field of view and up to 30m range
  • Real-time collision prediction algorithm identifies hazards early, giving the driver ample time to take avoiding action
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