Training for operating LS Mtronautonomous tractors at the Korea Racing Authority Jeju Farm
■ Autonomous tractors from LS Mtron showcase stable operation at the Korea RacingAuthority Jeju Farm
■ Expanded use of autonomous tractors at Jeju Racetrack under review following positive results from operating at the Jeju Farm
■ LS Mtron Tractor Business HQ Director Sang-min Lee states, “LS Mtron’sautonomous tractors are being utilized effectively at agricultural sites nationwide.” He adds, “We are currently developing additional autonomous tractors specialized for the horse industry in partnership with the Korea Racing Authority while also doing our due diligence for autonomous tractors to be utilized in various industries. We will lead Korea’s advanced agricultural machinery industry through these efforts.”
LS Group’s industrial machinery and advanced parts manufacturer LS Mtron (CEO Jae-ho Shin) announced that the company has begun operating an autonomous tractor customized for the horse industry named ‘SmarTrek’ in partnership with the Korea Racing Authority on October 26.
In August, LS Mtron and the Korea Racing Authority signed a mutual partnership MOU for the advancement of autonomous tractor technology and joint development of autonomous tractor technology optimized for the horse industry. Since September, LS Mtron and the Korea Racing Authority have been sharing information and opinions related to autonomous tractors, and have established a taskforce for mutual exchange to carry out regular discussions on the development of autonomous tractors optimized for horse industry worksites.
The two companies are aiming to perform autonomous pasture management without an operator by operating autonomous tractors across large grazing pastures. More specifically, this would require automated speed control by sector, one-touch automated path creation, obstacle recognition and evasive operation, and automated tractor control. They are also planning for the tractors to be used ionracetracks. Features for racetracks, including multi-variable track creation, tractor soft landing, path-following algorithms, tractor speed improvement, and enhanced accuracy when driving near fences, will all be developed by the end of next year.
For this, two of LS Mtron’sSmarTrekautonomous tractors were delivered to the Korea Racing Authority Jeju Farm for operation. LS Mtron’sSmarTrekautonomous tractors showcased stable driving in both the pastures and racetracks, accelerating the planned schedule. As a result, autonomous tractor operation training for on-site workers was conducted at the Korea Racing Authority Jeju Farm on October 19. The workers directly established the driving path and configured autonomous driving while also experiencing unmanned operation using remote control devices. On the following day, October 20, a review for the expanded use of autonomous tractors at the Jeju Racetrack was conducted. 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’sSmarTrekautonomous tractors have already been being supplied to public institutions since 2020, and it became the first autonomous tractor to be commercialized in Korea when it went on sale to ordinary farmers in 2023. The industry has praised LS Mtron’sSmarTrekautonomous tractor as a giant leap forward into the era of autonomous farming by tractors. LS Mtron’sSmarTrekautonomous tractor is an innovative product that can autonomously perform forward/reverse movement, rotation, and equipment connection without separate operation. Through this, it has maximized the strengths of autonomous driving technology, such as improved worker convenience and precision and enhanced productivity, to reduce work time by 17% and increase harvest volume by 8%.
LS Mtron Team Leader Jong-min Choi (doctor of agriculture) revealed, “The current autonomous tractors of LS Mtron are at level 3, capable of forward movement, rotation movement, and automated control.” He added, “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.”
LS Mtron Tractor Business HQ Director Sang-min Lee stated, “LS Mtron’sautonomous tractors are being utilized effectively at agricultural sites nationwide.” Headded, “We are currently developing additional autonomous tractors specialized for the horse industry in partnership with the Korea Racing Authority while also doing our due diligence for autonomous tractors to be utilized in various industries. We will lead Korea’sadvanced agricultural machinery industry through these efforts.”