John Deere and SpaceX Partner for Autonomy, Other Services

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Company has own GNSS augmentation service…

Solidifying its position as one of the top industrial users of satellite technology, John Deere DE -0.88%↓ this week signed a deal with SpaceX to provide satellite communications service to farmers.  Using the SpaceX Starlink network, the venture will allow farmers with connectivity challenges to leverage precision agriculture technologies, the company said.

The SATCOM solution will connect new and existing John Deere machines through satellite internet service and terminals.  This service will enable autonomy, real-time data sharing, remote diagnostics, enhanced self-repair solutions, and machine-to-machine communication, the company said.

John Deere has one of the largest autonomous fleets (Photo: John Deere).

John Deere has been one of the earliest adopters of location technology—even operating its own global satellite augmentation network.  The company operates the StarFire Network, which corrects GNSS signals for agriculture use.  The network allows the company to autonomously operate tractors, place seeds and develop its own maps, the company said.

“John Deere has led the agriculture equipment industry for more than two decades with satellite-based precision guidance technology,” said Jahmy Hindman, company senior vice president and CTO, in a statement.  “We are bringing satellite communications service to the farm at scale so farmers with cellular coverage challenges can maximize the value of connectivity to their operations.” J

The SATCOM solution will initially be available through a limited release in the United States and Brazil starting in the second half of 2024.


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