Autonomous tractor in horse racing

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LS Mtron and the Korea Racing Authority signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) for a partnership to jointly develop an autonomous tractor, optimized for the horse industry. Both parties are sharing information and opinions and established a taskforce for this purpose.

The two companies are aiming to achieve pasture management with autonomous tractors on large grazing pastures. This would require automated speed control, one-touch automated path creation, obstacle recognition and evasive operation, and automated tractor control. They are also planning to use these tractors on racetracks. Features for racetracks, including multi-variable track creation, path-following algorithms, tractor speed improvement, and enhanced accuracy when driving near fences, will all be studied.

For this, two of LS Mtron’s SmarTrek autonomous tractors were delivered to the Korea Racing Authority Jeju Farm for operation. LS Mtron’s SmarTrek tractors showcased stable driving in both the pastures and racetracks. As a result, autonomous tractor operation training for on-site workers was conducted at the Korea Racing Authority Jeju Farm. The workers directly established the driving path and configured autonomous driving while also experiencing unmanned operation using remote control devices. Compared to pastures, racetracks are flat and have clear boundaries due to being lined with fences, so the application of autonomous driving technology to racetrack management is expected to be easier.

Meanwhile, LS Mtron’s SmarTrek autonomous tractors have already been supplied to public institutions since 2020, and it became the first autonomous tractor in Korea when it went on sale to farmers in 2023.

LS Mtron’s SmarTrek autonomous tractor can autonomously perform forward/reverse movement, rotation, and connecting implements. As a result, it maximizes the strengths of autonomous driving technology, such as improved worker convenience and precision and enhanced productivity. According to LS Mtron, work time is reduced by 17% and harvest volume increased by 8%.

LS Mtron’s team leader Jong-min Choi revealed: “The current autonomous tractors of LS Mtron are at level 3, capable of forward movement, rotation movement, and automated control. We have also applied an essential obstacle detection feature, which is fundamental for achieving level 4 autonomy, and this feature is being utilized in agricultural sites.”


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