Tractor companies agree that automation is the future of farming. Of course, whether or not farmers see it that way is another discussion. It seems like John Deere rolls out some sort of autonomous concept every year, and just as well Kubota brought its own prototype to the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The tech inside is pretty neat, but there's something that stands out to me even more: those rims.
They're more like "rimz" with a "z," honestly. Kubota is going for the future forward look and apparently, the best way to do that is with shiny rollers. The ones out back measure 24 inches in diameter, just like you'd find on a lifted Super Duty. They're even polished to the high heavens, which vibes with the aesthetic. Now all it needs is a pair of truck nuts and a "Locally Hated" sticker that someone's sister made at home with their Cricut.
It isn't the size that's remarkable; our family's Kubota L4400 has 24-inch wheels, too. The design is what really draws your attention here as they resemble something like billet aluminum American Forces or Forgiatos. At least they're wrapped in real off-road tires with a ton of sidewall.
Kubota hasn't published many other details about the concept tractor. The manufacturer's promo video shows the rig working a vineyard while its owners are chilling inside with their family, so they're definitely playing up the idea of having more time, since you theoretically wouldn't be out there driving the machinery. All the farmers I know would probably spend that time doing some other work, but nevertheless. The tractor can also supposedly identify objects, distinguishing between rocks and crops, or people and animals.
I don't see farm equipment actually going in this direction, at least stylistically. Harvesters and whatnot will drive themselves, I'm sure, and a lot of them already come close with high-tech GPS capabilities, but I doubt they'll look like a luxury car. This Kubota resembles a Lexus with those angular headlights, spindle-type grille, and gloss black diamond accents on the side panels. If they're targeting the next generation of ag pros, they'd be better off giving it a stacked grille with an LED light bar in the middle.
Got a tip or question for the author? Contact them directly: firstname.lastname@example.org