Last week I got the chance for an early look at the new Genesis T8 tractor that we showed Farm Industry Newsreaders in depth in an online gallery. Last weekend I was explaining a bit of farm tech to my wife and it occurred to me that I just assume these days that some tech has to be there on a new piece of equipment.
The tech I'm thinking about is that end-row management system - they go by many names - that end the days of the multi-handed process of idling back the tractor, shutting off a PTO, raising an implement all before you are ready to turn to head up the next row - then do the same process in reverse. Today that multi-step process is most often handled with the flip of a switch or the push of a button.
That got me thinking about what other tech we may someday take for granted. I already expect to have access to great mapping software on my smart phone (an iPhone thank you). I also like that Bluetooth capability available in my car. Are we expecting these things in the tractor cab now too? These are little things. I'm sure there are much bigger things you now just expect to have when you sit in the cab of a new machine.
It's fair to wonder about tablet connectivity (which most manufacturers are mentioning) to help end monitor proliferation. Or enhanced single-system controls to manage a machine in the field, that we've come to be used to. The single-handle, all-at-your-fingertips isn't as special as it once was because today we expect it.
The drive-by-wire systems we rely on today give engineers a lot of room to wiggle as they figure out how best to deliver optimum operating speeds and torque for you in the field. They're also more able to manage the engine economy than ever before, too. Add in the engine control systems that deliver fuel so precisely it's almost impossible to kill a diesel and you can imagine what might be happening next.
Of course we'll probably take that for granted too.