i3 - November/December 2018 - 9

Tech
use of technologies such as GPS, vision,
sensors, robotics and machine learning.
Adding this capacity opened the route to
precision agriculture, providing software
and data-based solutions that work with
equipment and analyze outcomes to solve
complex problems on the farm.

share data with each other while operating
together in the field to ensure optimal precision and accuracy of the job being done.
Farming generates a ton of data. We built
up a large data platform in the cloud and
have developed a robust set of web and
mobile apps for farmers to store, visualize,
secure and analyze their data. Additionally,
since most farmers don't farm alone, the
John Deere Operations Center has over 100
connected software companies offering
tools and services that farmers can elect to
connect with and utilize. No other company
has such a large and diverse ecosystem as the
Operations Center. Our extensive APIs enable

Automation, connectivity, AI and
machine learning are a few key
technologies we're focused on to
build a continually smart, evolving
and more efficient farm.

Q How is the collected data used and trans-

mitted? Can you explain how the MyJohnDeere platform works?
A Data is essential for farming operations
today. Think of our machines as platforms for
software and data. Our machines collect the
highest quality and most relevant data from
each job done in the field. Sometimes, this
data is analyzed and acted upon in near real
time within the machine itself or bringing an
operator or remote manager into the loop
by streaming data to a mobile device to help
quickly identify and address any issues or
problems that may come up. Our large ag
machines leave the factory with a 4G LTE
modem with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and transmit
data to mobile devices as well as to the cloud.
This connectivity also allows machines to
C TA . t e c h / i 3

a collaborative approach across agriculture.
The Deere-led eco-system provides farmers
with insights for decision making and Deere
equipment with intelligence to automate
complex operations, both of which are critical
to managing the 1,500 variables that can be
associated with each acre of farm land. With
this online platform, farmers can access, view,
archive, manage and share a wide variety
of business information right from their
smartphone, tablet or computer whenever
and wherever they need it. This tool connects
customers with their trusted advisors and
gives them the ability to make choices about
the use and flow of the data. Now farmers can
store their data in a system that never forgets.

Q How is GPS incorporated?
A It is important to note that John Deere has

our own, captive GPS company in Torrance
California called Navcom Technologies
whom we acquired in 1999. Our technology
allows for accurate localization to within one
inch and we have leveraged this technology
to now allow our machines to steer themselves through the field on precise guidance
lines. Think of the benefits: a farmer using
this technology will never plant the same row
twice, never miss a row and never spray the
same row twice. Most estimates would say
that using Deere GPS technology will save a
farmer 10 percent of total input costs due to

less wasted seed, fertilizer, fuel and time.
GPS technology is also essential to precise
data capture, which in turn enables a farmer
to make more informed decisions. For example, through GPS technology, farmers today
can create geospatial maps of data collected
each planting season which can show a
farmer what areas of their land was most
successful in growing the crop and areas
they might want to avoid. Having that insight
captured for many years, in some case up to
twenty, enables better decision making and
more automation of the individual jobs as the
farmer can tell the machine where it wants
the seeds to go.

Q Is this just for commercial farming?
A Our technologies are used in over 100

countries in the world on farms focused on
row and broad acre crops. To provide you
with some context, of the 309 million acres
of land in the U.S. that grows a crop, 99
percent of it is used for row crops like corn or
broad-acre crops like wheat. The other one
percent is used for fruits, nuts and vegetables. We are focused on evolving farming
practices for both types of crops using AI,
robotics, data science and sensors.

Q Is there a learning curve to using
this equipment?

A As with any technology, having a com-

prehensive understanding may not happen
overnight, but we're focused on making the
technology impactful and easy to learn. Most
people are surprised to hear that farmers are
some of the most tech-savvy professionals in
the world. We're seeing customers at all ages
and backgrounds embracing and using the
technology. We continue to invest heavily
in building up capabilities in Digital User
Experience research, a truly fascinating and
important space.

Q Can you talk about your presence in
Silicon Valley?

A In the spring of last year, we announced

the creation of our John Deere Labs in
downtown San Francisco to create a physical
presence in Silicon Valley for prospective
partnerships and to advance new technologies in AI, machine learning and robotics.
Late last year, Deere also acquired Blue
River Technology, a Silicon Valley startup,
to further strengthen our core capabilities. Blue River Technology's main product,
See&Spray - a smart sprayer system that can
distinguish weeds from plants in a field - has
the potential to reduce herbicides use by up
to 90 percent based on field tests. That is truly
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

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i3 - November/December 2018

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Contents
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i3 - November/December 2018 - Contents
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