Outstanding in the Field

One of the world’s largest makers of farm equipment is doubling down on self-driving tractors.

What’s new: John Deere agreed to pay $250 million for Bear Flag Robotics, a California startup that upgrades conventional tractors for full autonomy.

Why it matters: In addition to helping the farmers deal with a long-running labor shortage, AI-driven equipment could help increase their productivity and limit environmental impacts such as pesticide runoff.

We’re thinking: Self-driving cars aren’t yet commonly used on public roads, but the technology appears to be good enough for commercial use in constrained environments like farms.

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