Cyberworks Robotics announces the initial sale of 18 autonomous (self-driving) tow-tractors to Fernlea greenhouse. This represents the first deployment of autonomous tractors in an industrial greenhouse anywhere in the world. The order represents the first batch of up to 90 autonomous tractors expected to be delivered to Fernlea which is one of North America’s largest greenhouses with facilities in both the US and Canada. The tractors are used to tow trailers of produce from growing areas to processing areas. The technology will allow greenhouses to increase efficiency, eliminate transport bottlenecks, reduce operating costs, and alleviate labour shortages.
Greenhouse production output levels continue to increase, requiring adjustments to workforce productivity. The agricultural sector already faces chronic labour shortages and has difficulty attracting and retaining workers in some regions. The COVID-19 pandemic further exposed the industry's vulnerabilities to labour shocks, which had an impact on the supply chain. The financial impact of the labour shortages in this industry include lost sales due to planting and harvesting delays and losses, and delayed expansion plans. The innovative solutions provided by Cyberworks Robotics are lowering the cost and improving the productivity of greenhouse operations while allowing existing labour resources to be used in the most effective way possible.