After unveiling India's first compact electric tractor last year, leading farm equipment maker Escorts took another step on the road to agricultural innovation by launching the country's first smart tractor on Thursday.

The tractors with autonomous concept or self-driving technology aimed at precision-based farming will help farmers save time and maxmise output. The new product is styled by Germany's Porsche Design, a subsidiary of luxury carmaker Porsche AG.

“More and more technological solutions and digital interface are required to enable a farmer to source farming intelligence and better cultivation information on soil health, seeds, water management and advance technologies for much better output and earnings,” the company said in a statement.

Escorts has tied up with seven technology majors—Microsoft, Reliance Jio, Trimble, Samvardhana Motherson Group, WABCO, AVL, and BOSCH—for developing its innovative farming solutions.

Together, these companies will develop a range of farm machines with electric transmissions, autonomous applications, remote vehicle management, data-based soil and crop management, and sensor-based guided farm applications.

WABCO will provide vehicular controls and automation technology, AVL electric driveline technology, Trimble will produce sensors and automated e-steering, and Samvardhana Motherson Group will provide Smart Interface Cabins. Microsoft will help align these smart devices through the IOT and AI-based technology. BOSCH will help in future emission readiness while Reliance Jio will help enhance farm machinery life cycle.

Escorts says that farming practices in India require extensive mechanisation and precision-based agro solutions for maximised output and improved farmer income.

"This portrays Escorts’ commitment to continue to develop and launch technologies for national development and community elevation to co-create technologies for autonomous agriculture and smart infrastructure,” said Nikhil Nanda, chairman and managing director, Escorts.

The company also plans to introduce an Uber-like aggregator of farm equipment through a pay-as-you-go model. The aggregator service, called TRAXI, will connect farm equipment owners to rent out their products to small and marginal farmers and provide them with advanced solutions at an affordable price.

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