Having been a closely guarded secret for the last few months, the Smart concept cabin for agriculture was finally unveiled at the Agritechnica show in Hannover yesterday (November 13).
The project partners behind the Genius concept cab for construction and earthmoving equipment shown at Bauma 2016 chose Agritechnica 2017 to reveal a similar collaboratively-designed agricultural machine operator module, which incorporates a number of new technologies.
Designed for use with self-propelled machines such as harvesters and sprayers, the Smart Cab is based on a Fritzmeier frame already in use by AGCO. However, the rest of the unit is a totally new combination of technologies from industry component manufacturers and researchers including Aurora, Bosch, Grammer, Hella, Hydac, exterior design specialist Lumod, Mekra Lang Group, SMA Metalltechnik, Dresden Technical University – which focused on interior design – Deula Bayern and the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation.
Although the cab is a concept, it has been built using industry design and manufacturing standards, and benefits from serial-tested modularity, which will ensure flexibility in future production, meaning the cab can be easily adapted to different machine types.
Key features include x2x usability via an open CAN that enables full two-way connection and communication, and ‘smart farming’ technology. As an open system, it knows no boundaries in terms of connectivity, thus providing greatest future reliability.
Systems in the new cab include Bosch Feature Store, which allows farmers to upload machine settings according to soil conditions. “We’re not generating innovations for their own sake,” stressed Michael Aichinger-Rosenberger, head of research and development at Hella, responsible for much of the cab’s lighting systems. “The idea is to transfer major trends such as serial-tested modularity, x2x usability and smart farming technology into added value for customers, to boost flexibility, reliability and profitability.”
Other technology incorporated into the cab includes smart glass, bird’s eye view camera from Bosch, Hella air or water cleaning functions for sensors and lights.
The agricultural engineering industry also has an answer to the head-up displays in the automotive field: so-called electroluminescence displays (ELD). Fritzmeier has integrated an ELD in the Smart Cab displaying selected information or warning messages in the windscreen area without adversely affecting vehicle views.
“Looking into the future always me – and playing with ideas. The Smart Cab bundles ideas that clearly benefit users,” concludes Fritz Schadeck, vice president at Fritzmeier Cabs.
By Martin Rickatson