The biggest theme at this past week’s CES tech show was electric and autonomous transportation – cars, trucks, bikes, boats. And, it turns out, the tractor.
Farm-equipment giant Deere unveiled a new autonomous tractor with attached tillage at CES. For those not familiar with agricultural life, Julian Sanchez, Deere’s director of emerging technologies, explains baron’s That tillage is an important, time-consuming and tedious process of preparing the soil for planting the next season. If you don’t do it fast enough, the ground may freeze. And ineffective tillage means some will not take seed and yield will drop.
While automatic steering has been on tractors for many years, Deere’s autonomous tractor can operate without a driver in the cab. The tractor can detect obstacles that may damage the attached tiller. And, he says, it can run round the clock, saving time and labor, and improving productivity by up to 20%.
Sanchez noted that there’s more to it than just navigation. If the tillage is too shallow, do not pluck the husk; is too deep, and the tractor moves very slowly, which increases fuel costs. The system includes six cameras to detect holes, debris or other material, notifying the farmer when an issue needs to be addressed. Eventually, Sanchez says, Deere hopes to add other functions to the autonomous tractor, such as sowing seeds and spreading herbs.
Deere has not announced pricing on its autonomous tractor- or business model that may apply to tractors in constant need of data connectivity and navigation services. It’s a software-as-a-service model, layered on top of farming.
a cold start
Apple became the first stock to break the $3 trillion market cap before falling back. OPEC+ approved a scheduled increase in output, but opposition from OPEC+ member Kazakhstan led to an increase in oil and uranium. Job news was mixed: nearly 4.5 million Americans left their jobs in November, a new high, but unemployment fell. Rising Treasury yields and Federal Reserve minutes plunged tech stocks and bitcoin, suggesting March interest rate hikes. In the week, Dow Industrialists slipped 0.3% to 36,231.66; The S&P 500 fell 1.9% to 4677.03; And the Nasdaq Composite fell 4.5% to 14,935.90.
car, car, chips
Tesla shares rose after the announcement of global deliveries that beat estimates, thanks to the ability to source chips. Toyota passed General Motors as the top auto seller in the US after accumulating the chips—the first time in 90 years that GM wasn’t No. And Ford’s shares soared after doubling down on production plans for its new electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck. ,
Omicron and bad weather hit travel—airlines canceled nearly 18,500 flights from Christmas Eve through Monday. The US recorded one lakh infections, double the previous record. Schools started going virtual again. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized Pfizer and BioNTech Booster for children ages 12 to 15.
China comes up short
China failed to meet its commitments to buy American goods under the Trump trade deal. This left the Biden administration with a problem of what to do about it. China promised to boost US purchases by $200 billion in 2017 dollars, but fell short on agricultural goods by 17%, on manufactured goods by 41% and on energy by 62%.
More Evergrande Crisis
Shares of China Evergrande were temporarily suspended in Hong Kong after the city government of the man-made tourism island Hainan ordered the developer to destroy 39 buildings for “illegal construction”. Evergrande said the Hainan project would continue.
The jury indicted Elizabeth Holmes, 37, the founder of the failed diagnostic start-up Theranos, on three counts of wire fraud and one of conspiracy to commit fraud. He could be jailed for years.
History of Deal Making
In its first major deal since 2015, 3G Capital agreed to buy 75% of Dutch-based window-covering maker Hunter Douglas at a 64% premium and an enterprise value of $7.1 billion. The New York Times said it was buying. Athletic website for $550 million… Wall Street Journal reports AT&T‘s
WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS were in talks with potential buyers of The CW Network. Forefront: Nexstar Media…TPG of private equity seeks $9.5 billion valuation in its IPO, raising to $877 million… Warner Music buys David Bowie’s songbook for $250 million .
Write Eric J. at [email protected] savitz