Deere & Co. plans to buy tech startup Bear Flag Robotics. Over the next year, the company says it will develop automated systems that will enable tractors to operate without a person in the cab.
“We are effectively in market with real customers today,” said Dan Leibfried, Deere’s director of automation and autonomy.
Deere began working with Bear Flag in 2019, which has been testing automated tractors on farms in California. Bear Flag’s purchase price: $250 million.
Bear Flag’s technology is designed so it can be installed on current tractor models. “We retrofit existing machines. We want to deliver a solution growers can use in the short term,” a Bear Flag spokesperson said.