In the future autonomous vehicles will gain ground in agriculture and increase efficiency and productivity. That is the vision of the European ICT AGRI project QUAD-AV (Ambient Awareness for Autonomous Agricultural Vehicles). The project is funded by the Danish Food Industry Agency under the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries in cooperation with the Danish Technological Institute, the German Fraunhofer, the French Cemagref, the Italian University of Salento and the German tractor and harvester manufacturer Claas.
Autonomous mobile agro robots need to operate safely, which means they must be provided with the ability to perceive and interpret the elements of danger in the concerned environment. The QUAD-AV project focuses on developing sensors and methods for data processing, allowing vehicles to become aware of their surroundings by detecting obstacles such as differences in the landscape, physical installations on the field and humans and animals that are present in the environment.
ICT-AGRI is a cross-thematic ERA-NET spanning three FP7 themes: Agriculture and food supply; Environment and climate; and Information and Communication Technology. The overall goal of ICT-AGRI is to strengthen the European Research Area and develop a common European research agenda concerning ICT and robotics in agriculture. ICT-AGRI has 18 partners and 14 observers from 21 countries. It was initiated on 1 May 2009 and runs until 31 July 2013.