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New Holland partners with Bluewhite to develop autonomous farming vehicles

New Holland, a brand of CNH, and Bluewhite, a developer of autonomous technology, have agreed a multi-phase partnership to collaborate on distribution, manufacturing, and integration of Bluewhite’s autonomous solutions for New Holland tractors in North America.

This partnership will enable New Holland tractors to operate fully autonomously in orchards, vineyards and other specialty crop operations.

Carlo Lambro, brand president of New Holland, says: “Bluewhite has proven to be the leader in terms of implementing autonomy in the specialty crops space, a market in great demand for this type of innovation.

“The integration of Bluewhite into our technology stack allows our customers to access much-needed autonomous technology in an attainable aftermarket solution.

“With our leadership position in specialty crops, the partnership with Bluewhite complements our mission to continue to better serve our customers, elevate their capabilities and bring more autonomy to their operations.”

Bluewhite, formerly Blue White Robotics, drives the growth of resilient farms by bringing sustainable autonomous innovation to permanent crop growers worldwide.

The company’s AI-driven autonomous farm solution leverages AI, sensor fusion, advanced vehicle integration and precision implements control to help growers manage their fleets and data — and, ultimately, produce more with less.

Bluewhite works with over 20 leading permanent crop growers, enabling autonomous farming on multiple crops and tractor models across 150,000 acres in the US.

Founded in 2017 by Ben Alfi, Yair Shahar and Aviram Shmueli, Bluewhite is headquartered in Tel Aviv with offices in Fresno, California.

Ben Alfi, CEO, Bluewhite, says: “We’re incredibly excited about collaborating with CNH and New Holland to accelerate the adoption of autonomous technologies in the field that not only improve productivity and profitability for growers but also promote safe and sustainable methods of producing food.

“Our long-term partnership with CNH and New Holland combining leading autonomous technology with the best tractors and harvesters in the orchards and vineyards sector is a milestone in achieving our mission of making cutting-edge innovation accessible to the agriculture sector.

“We have an exciting journey ahead of us and we look forward to working with partners like CNH and New Holland to continue bringing value to our customers and growers everywhere.”

The proven capabilities of Bluewhite in orchards and vineyards bolsters New Holland’s strategy to bring autonomous solutions across all segments it serves, especially in the specialty crop market.

Building on our parent company CNH’s acquisitions of Raven, Augmenta, and Hemisphere, which are driving New Holland’s autonomy offerings for row crop and broad acre farmers, Bluewhite’s unique technology helps New Holland customers address immediate challenges, such as labor shortages and rising operational costs in the specialty crop market.

Depending on the specific use case, Bluewhite technology has proven to reduce operational costs by up to 85 percent through a combination of savings in inputs, labor and maintenance costs.

Paul Welbig, precision product marketing director for New Holland Agriculture North America, says: “With this tech we’re not only helping address the financial aspect of an operation by freeing up an operator to tackle other tasks; we’re alleviating some of the biggest pain points growers contend with every day that slow them down during the most critical times in the growing season.

“When a grower is hard-pressed to secure labor or schedules don’t align, a difference in hours or a day can significantly set an operation back financially and agronomically. This technology brings relief to those situations.”

This strategic partnership includes a three-phase, multi-year initiative that advances the development and integration of Bluewhite technology across the New Holland portfolio.

Beginning immediately, select New Holland dealers in the western US have the rights to sell, distribute, and service Bluewhites’s aftermarket kits for existing New Holland tractors.

Order writing will begin in summer 2024, with future regional and global expansion to come to ensure broader New Holland customer access.

New Holland and Bluewhite are also exploring future possibilities for factory-installed solutions.

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