Anticipation mixed with a little anxiety as to how soon autonomous vehicles will be roaming farm fields in North America continues to build. But this week, Raven Autonomy announced it is accepting pre-orders for its first commercially-available autonomous system.

AutoCart, an autonomous grain cart system, will be available for the 2021 harvest season. The technology allows operators to control and monitor a driverless tractor from the combine cab, allowing a single grain cart driver to cover 340 hours in the tractor cab during harvest.

The announcement is another step in the gradual commercialization of autonomous vehicles in ag. So what type of farm operation will be prime candidate for autonomous systems?

Paul Bruns, business development manager with Raven Autonomy, shares his outlook for the size and growth needs that could determine the interest and need for autonomous equipment.

“The conversations I’ve had throughout the Midwest to start with, have been producers that are anywhere from 1,000 – 3,500 acres in size. They’re trying to grow, they want to grow, but it’s really hard to add that one extra person full-time. And it’s even harder to find that person for part of the season. That’s been the big push.”

You can hear more from Paul Bruns who will part of our autonomy panel at the AEI 2021 Executive Briefing. For more information on the virtual event, visit