New online appointment for Tractor of the Year and its digital episodes created in collaboration with BKT, official sponsor of the Award. After discussing connectivity in the first episode, the new focus is now on the driving experience.
BKT Collaborates in Driving Experience TOTY Episode
The episode features Carlo Bellati, editor of the Italian car magazine Quattroruote, and Adam Anderson, official Monster Jam driver (the made in USA motor show sponsored by BKT) and Antonio Giovinazzi, the Italian Formula 1 driver.
Driving expectations vary between a car, a Monster truck, an F1 car or a tractor as they may seek key characteristics. Of a modern-day vehicle its driver asks first of all for safety, but also many other conveniences, such as computerised assistance to indicate traffic, pedestrian crossings, the conditions of the asphalt, and the weather. A chance for simple interaction with an artificial intelligence that can drive alongside us and that will indeed soon completely replace us.
On the contrary, an official driver of Monster Jam does everything by themselves, “encapsulated” in their cabin: “Here we are in a parallel world – stressed Adam Anderson, driver in the Monster Truck team, Grave Digger.
“Safety and control are the most important characteristics in my driving experience. For us stuntmen safety means being able to count on a vehicle which is completely perfect in the smallest detail, from the engine to the tyres. Over recent years we have perfected the Monster Trucks, also thanks to the support of BKT researchers who have designed the best possible tyres for us, real giants that can take us to the limits, but in complete safety and comfort, to offer the best motor show in the world.”
Safety technology is also central to Antonio Giovinazzi, the Italian Formula 1 driver who discusses the total digitalisation of the data which comes in and out in real time while driving a Formula 1 car: “An extremely sophisticated drive, which you must make an effort to adapt to, but we would never have got to this level of driving perfection in terms of performance without a fully computerised cockpit.”
The transformation in agricultural mechanisation dates back to the end of the 1980s, when the first GPS recordings were used, well before the studies carried out on other vehicles, such as cars and public transport. Since then, the tendency in agriculture has been to try out machines that could interact with the surrounding environment, such as the different types of terrain or weather, even without a human presence.
BKT is well aware of all this. Its tyres are an essential component in making agricultural machinery efficient, safe and sustainable: “The choice to focus above all on the manufacture of high performance, off-highway tyres entails detailed research work,” comments Lucia Salmaso, CEO of BKT Europe.
“The need to create a specific design depending on the terrain so as to adapt tire pressure for each task at hand presents us as manufacturers with complex research demands. We now have the task of guaranteeing the greatest possible control of the vehicle, to make it work with utmost efficiency, while respecting the comfort and safety of the driver. The dialogue between users and manufacturers is thus becoming incredibly important in order to achieve the required level of performance. We will soon see self-driving tractors, but the concept is still the same, data exchange, albeit digitally based, will be our best route to growth.”
Self-driving tractors seem to be a concrete and imminent reality, completely overturning the experience of driving a tractor, which it will probably be possible to drive using a remote control or an app on a tablet or smartphone. Those dealing with Agriculture 4.0 already know this, but many will be surprised to learn that the self-driving tractor will be available in the field before any other conventional vehicle on the road.