Austra lian farmers could have an on-farm version of Google's driverless car if a self-driving tractor trial near Jerilderie continues according to plan.

A robotic tractor has been trialled in a joint program with Rice Research Australia, Japanese companies Hitachi Zosen Corporation and Yanmar Co. and three Australian universities.

The study seeks to verify that advanced positioning signals transmitted from Japan’s Quasi-Zenith Satellite System can be used in precision farming.

Results from the trial have been positive so far.

"It is meeting all's accuracy is very good," said Rice Research Australia manager Russell Ford.

"It seems a bit out there, but when you see it, you realise it's not far away (from being widely used by farmers).

"I think in about 10 to 15 years that will be a reality."

Mr Ford said the tractor had put out fertiliser, done inter-row cultivation and used a crop sensor to read plants' nitrogen levels to test growth.

Future trials are planned.

Source: Roderick Makim, The Land