ETSI claims a world first with a tractor that communicates with cars

ETSI claims to be exhibiting the first tractor connected to a car at Sophia this week. The tractor sends a warning to road vehicles using a communication protocol standardised by ETSI. Motorists are warned at a distance of 1 kilometre, in order to avoid the collisions that frequently occur by day and by night.

Every year, almost 400 fatal accidents are caused in Europe by farm vehicles that are not clearly visible on the road, especially in rural areas. Drivers are surprised by tractors travelling at much lower speeds than their car, and occupying the entire width of the road, which means that the drivers cannot take evasive action or brake in time. Makers of farm machinery are now trying to mitigate these risks and have a target of halving the number of fatal accidents in Europe by 2035.

The demonstration on show at ETSI is made up of a John Deere tractor and the communications platform from Sensivov. Both the partner companies are ETSI members. The exhibit shows how the two vehicles communicate using visual and sound signals to give warning of their presence, thanks to the standard developed by ETSI’s oneM2M partnership project.

This is just one of the 11 demonstrations on show at ETSI’s annual IoT (Internet of Things) event, which features a week of conferences, workshops and demonstrations. This workshop has become a must for experts from all over the world, who come to share their points of view and discuss the numerous innovations that spring up every day.

“The European Commission wanted to improve road safety between farm vehicles and other vehicles. John Deere responded to this demand by equipping its tractors with modems,” explains Christophe Gossard, head of European Regulatory Affairs at John Deere. “But, more importantly, the different road-going vehicles and their means of communication had to be interoperable. So, it was only natural for us to join ETSI, the only European standardisation organisation with the necessary experience in these areas.”

“ETSI is renowned for its telecommunications standards, but since we started working on 5G and the Internet of Things, we have welcomed some new actors into our groups. They are from the worlds of agriculture, smart cities, eHealth and connected transport,” declares ETSI’s director general, Luis Jorge Romero. “Today, information and communication technologies include all the smart equipment that we find every day, both at home and at work.”

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