Russia brings AI to farming – report

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Self-driving tractors have tilled over two million hectares of land in 2023, according to Cognitive Pilot

The mass introduction of AI-based (artificial intelligence) autonomous tractors into the Russian agro-industrial sector has begun, TASS reported on Tuesday, citing developer Cognitive Pilot.

The company, which is producing the Cognitive Agro Pilot autonomous driving system for agricultural machinery based on AI technologies, told the outlet that the system has no analogs in the world. The developer insists that automated tillage by a self-driving truck could boost farming productivity by 25% and help preserve up to 20-40% more materials, such as fertilizer and seeds.

“Cognitive Pilot summarized results of operations for tractors equipped with the AI-based Cognitive Agro Pilot system in Russia. Smart machinery tilled more than 2.3 million hectares in total,” the company’s press service told TASS.

The report highlighted that, in total, 312 tractors equipped with the Cognitive Agro Pilot have been operating on Russian farms from March to November. Using the system has helped farmers save, on average, 2.6 million rubles ($28,700) per field with an area of 1,000 hectares, or more than 5 billion rubles ($56 million) in total.

According to the developer, this is the first case of large-scale commercial use of AI in Russia for tractors.“We have received a very strong result. Actually, our smart machinery has worked for slightly more than a third of the season, and the results confirm the high potential and prospects of using our robotic tractors,” said Cognitive Pilot CEO Olga Uskova.

In November 2019, Russia’s state-run lender Sber (formerly Sberbank) and Cognitive Technologies agreed to create Cognitive Pilot, a company specializing in developing uncrewed technologies in transport, agriculture, computer vision, and AI. Under the terms of the deal, Sberbank has a 30% stake in the company, while 70% of the shares belong to the founders and management of Cognitive Technologies.

Since 2022, Cognitive Pilot has been included in the list of strategically important enterprises of the Russian economy. In addition to Russia, the company’s products are reportedly being used in 12 other countries.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

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