Having already deployed dozens of its retrofit autonomy kits on tractors, Agritech firm FieldIn says it plans to deploy over 100 more throughout the US in 2023. Ouster, Inc. a leading provider of high-performance lidar sensors, shipped 100 of its ‘OS1’ sensors to Fieldin at the end of 2022. Each of Fieldin’s autonomy kits is equipped with an OS1 for reliable vehicle localisation, navigation, and object detection.
Fieldin’s autonomy kits offers various levels of automation features that can be unlocked, including auto-steering and other driving assistance capabilities, autonomous spraying, and fully autonomous driver-out functionality in line with rapidly evolving local autonomous driving regulations.
The firm’s autonomous solutions sit alongside their Smart Farming Operations platform, providing aggregated data and dashboards to create visibility in real-time and insight for key farm decision-makers, which can strengthen accountability, precision, operations and results.
Together, Fieldin and Ouster aim to address common challenges facing the agricultural industry through innovative and scalable autonomous farming solutions. The market for autonomous farming equipment is expected to reach approximately US$95 billion by 2027.
“Agricultural equipment operates rain or shine, in fluctuating temperatures and dusty environments, and through narrow aisles of crops completing a variety of routine tasks from spraying and harvesting to mowing. Fieldin is modernising agricultural management from beginning to end to optimise operations and reduce costs, while making a positive global contribution through better food, higher yields, and environmental impact management,“ said Fieldin Co-founder and Chief Autonomy Officer Yonatan Horovitz. “To achieve this at scale, we needed a lidar sensor for our autonomy kit that was robust, reliable, and cost-effective. Ouster delivers all of that and more with excellent customer support and product availability.”
Ouster is a leading global provider of lidar for the automotive, industrial, robotics, and smart infrastructure industries. Ouster’s products include high-resolution scanning and solid-state digital lidar sensors, Velodyne Lidar sensors, and software solutions. With a global team and high-volume manufacturing, Ouster supports over 850 customers in over 50 countries, the company is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with offices in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East.
Fieldin serves hundreds of agricultural enterprises around the world, including five of the 10 largest farms in California and its platform supports more than 20% of the global production of almonds and 30% of US-based lettuce crops. Since its inception, Fieldin has monitored 49 million tractor hours and 21 million acres, and digitized over 10,000 tractors and other machinery. Fieldin’s headquarters are located in California with additional offices in Israel, and Australia.
What is Lidar?
Lidar, short for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing technology that uses laser pulses to measure distance and create high-resolution 3D maps of objects and their surrounding environment. A lidar system emits rapid pulses of laser light that bounce off objects and return to the sensor, where the time-of-flight and wavelength of the reflected light are used to calculate the distance and position of the object.
By scanning the laser beam across a wide field of view and collecting millions of data points, lidar can generate highly detailed maps of objects and landscapes with sub-centimetre accuracy. Lidar is used in a wide range of applications, including autonomous vehicles (as described above) but also surveying and mapping, forestry, archaeology, and atmospheric research.