AI-Tractor from BCS, the smart tractor
AI-Tractor is a tractor based on artificial intelligence and is one of the most important innovations presented by the Milan-based company BCS (based in Abbiategrasso) at EIMA International 2021. The AI of the tractor designed by the Lombardy-based manufacturer was developed with the aim of providing advanced control of the tractor's many functions. Thanks to a series of electronic sensors, the system continuously analyses the state of the machine and the environment in which it is located, and interprets the manoeuvre the operator is making on the clutch pedal by optimally using the electro-hydraulic shuttle, the clutch itself and the brakes. Artificial intelligence - says a technical note from the manufacturer - automatically selects the most appropriate operating mode for the situation and supports the operator in completing the manoeuvre, thus reducing operating times. This allows the operator to concentrate even more on working in the field, and the machine to optimise operating procedures. The company explains that the benefits are reduced fuel consumption and extended clutch component life. The tractor's Artificial Intelligence operates in four driving modes that can be selected by the operator. In forklift mode, the tractor behaves like an electric or hydrostatic forklift truck. The operator can approach the load to be lifted slowly and precisely, using only the accelerator pedal or, alternatively, a specific button. Artificial intelligence handles the clutch, brakes, accelerator and reverse smoothly, allowing the operator to select different travel speeds. With the "brake and go" mode, useful for PTO work, the machine can be operated using the brake pedal. When the operator presses the pedal, the clutch opens immediately, allowing the tractor to optimise the movement energy.
On the other hand, when the pedal is released, the machine resumes its previous speed without jolting, even on a slope and with a load applied. In this case, all the operator has to do is select different degrees of machine responsiveness when starting and braking. The quick reverse mode, which is ideal for haymaking, landscaping and snow removal, allows the operator to quickly reverse direction using just the control lever under the steering wheel. In this case, the AI manages the clutch, brake and accelerator, while the user only has to select different degrees of machine responsiveness when starting and braking.
At the moment of reversing, the torque transmitted is not zero, resulting in a prompt and fast reversal like that which can be achieved with the more cumbersome and complex dual-clutch systems. With slow reverse (suitable for manoeuvring when exiting a row, cutting grass where there are obstacles or handling heavy loads) the tractor's direction of travel can be reversed using just the control lever under the steering wheel.
Unlike rapid reversal, in this mode the machine stops for a few moments and restarts with a torque that increases progressively from zero to that determined by the complete activation of the clutch, allowing the operator to coordinate the reversal with manoeuvres on the steering wheel.
Artificial intel-ligence also manages the clutch, brake and accelerator, and the operator can select different degre-es of reactivity when starting and braking.