John Deere gets more connected with Samsara integration

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Agricultural equipment manufacturer John Deere this week announced a new level of integration with Samsara Vehicle Gateways, which should allow farmers a greater degree of real-time insight into the vehicles that support key farm gear.

The new integration works through the John Deere Operations Center, the company's in-house display layer for remote management and monitoring of agricultural equipment. The operations center, via a phone or web app, can show remote diagnostic information, track machinery geographically, and provide a host of other remote monitoring features.

Integrating Samsara’s vehicle gateways — edge devices that can be equipped on any vehicle to track engine diagnostics, GPS position, and many other pieces of operational data — means that Deere's operations center can be used to track a much wider array of support vehicles necessary for modern agriculture, not just the company’s own machines, which have native support for the system.

“Support vehicles in agriculture — such as fuel trucks, service trucks, and pickups — play a critical role in farming operations,” said Samsara, in a statement. “Their instrumental tasks include taking fuel to equipment, transporting crops, and servicing equipment. The ability to monitor support vehicles’ location and status progress in near real-time and quickly access information without interrupting workflows on the farm is key.”

John Deere has been at the forefront of advances in precision agriculture for roughly the past decade. Underpinned by a highly accurate GNSS location-tracking system, the company’s agricultural IoT offerings initially featured tight vertical integration. Farmers used Deere equipment to reap the benefits of the company’s technology, with little scope for interoperability. Now, however, the integration of products from other companies, like Samsara, may indicate that Deere’s technology policy is changing.

Connected agriculture is a broad term that covers a host of technological applications designed to make farming simpler and more efficient, from soil and weather sensors delivering important data to location tracking letting farmers plant seeds and irrigate fields with extreme levels of precision. Adding support vehicles to a connected agriculture setup further increases the amount of control farmers can exercise over their operations, streamlining maintenance and logistics and potentially reducing those costs.

The newly integrated Samsara solution is available in early access for support vehicles in the US and Canada. Vehicles using Samsara’s edge modules can connect using an app available through the company’s online marketplace.

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