International Perspective: Concept Vehicles at SIMA
One of the big draws at auto shows is always the concept cars that manufacturers exhibit. People get excited to see what cars and trucks may look like 10,15 or 20 years from now. Most of the time these concept cars never come to market in their original form, but go through various modifications and are generally not as exciting when they are released – if they are ever released at all. More often than not, certain design elements or features of the concept cars are used in other vehicles. But at least the concept cars give us something to dream about.
Unfortunately, the ag manufacturers don’t show cool concept equipment at the agricultural shows like the auto companies do. It would be great if we could see an engineer’s concept of a combine or tractor a couple of decades from now. Well, that may all be changing. While attending the SIMA Show in Paris in February, I noticed that AGCO was showing off a couple concept vehicles on their stand. It was fascinating to see the Massey Ferguson combine and the Valtra “ANTS” vehicles they had on display. Although not full size concept vehicles (only scales models), it was still interesting to have a glimpse into a possible future.
The Massey Ferguson combine concept was introduced back in 2010 and there are several pictures and articles floating around the internet. You can get more information on it and some pictures at the following links:
The concept is basically showing how combines can be made bigger without making them any wider or taller, rather, making them longer. Check out some of the stats listed in the first link; you may need to do some measurement conversions to appreciate the shear mass of this combine. It may be a bit tricky getting a yield monitor fitted on this beast!
An even more futuristic look into farm vehicles is the Valtra “ANTS” concept. The ANTS vehicles take a modular approach by being able to combine vehicles together to get more power. Also, the vehicles are designed to work as robots for some applications. Looking at the animations you almost get the feeling that these vehicles are better suited for farming in space than on terra firma. Check out some of the links below:
It will be interesting to see if these vehicles are ever brought to market, and even more interesting to see how precision agriculture evolves with these potential machines.
I hope more ag manufacturers share concept vehicles with the general public in the future. It is definitely fun to look at these machines and wonder if we will see one running in the fields in the next decade or two. It would be great to see the expression on your neighbor's face when you tell them you just bought some ANTS.