Imagine a picturesque farm with freshly tilled fields as far as the eye can see. You can just make out a futuristic-looking tractor coming over the hill, but there’s no driver in sight. This is no ordinary tractor.
This is the world’s smartest, fully electric, autonomous tractor, made by California-based startup Monarch Tractor — and Parker’s Global Vehicle Motor (GVM) propels it.
“Without the scalable architecture that Parker has on the electrification side, and the whole ecosystem of products that Parker has, it would have been more challenging for us to be where we are today, in terms of technology innovation,” explains Praveen Penmetsa, CEO of Monarch.
Penmetsa, who grew up in India and comes from a long line of rice farmers, came to the U.S. for his a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and began working in advanced automation, robotics and electrification before co-founding Monarch Tractor in 2017.
“Parker is a world-renowned brand,” says Penmetsa. “So when we say our tractor is powered by Parker, it provides a certain amount of credibility, a certain amount of comfort to the farmer, knowing that this is a technology that is robust, that is proven, and that is going to be supported long term.”
In the ongoing effort to develop more sustainable solutions for a greener planet, the Global Vehicle Motor is just one part of the story. Across Parker’s global portfolio of interconnected motion and control technologies, approximately two-thirds are solutions that enable electrification, lightweighting, the adoption of cleaner and more efficient energy sources, and other innovations with a positive environmental impact.
“Parker wants to contribute to the needs of humanity,” explains Stuart Goodnick, director of engineering for Parker’s Electronic Motion & Controls Division. “And so we developed the GVM to provide a versatile, power-dense solution for electrification across a number of different applications.”
Indeed, while Monarch Tractor is one of the first companies to apply electrification to agriculture in this way, Parker’s GVM also powers a variety of other electric or hybrid vehicles including buses, utility vehicles, refuse trucks and large on-road trucks.
Increasingly, customers rely on Parker technologies to reduce their own resource consumption and carbon emissions. Or, as in the case of Monarch, they can count on Parker technologies and support to drive innovation for their end users.
For independent fruit and vegetable farmers who want to go organic, collect more data and produce more nutritious food, an electric autonomous tractor is more than just a good environmental choice. With rising operating costs and increased competition for labor, it’s key to survival. And ultimately, Monarch Tractor is confident its technology has the potential to transform the global food ecosystem.
“A startup like Monarch Tractor is focused on solving a specific problem in a specific way for a specific market…and that focus drives innovation,” adds Goodnick. “Parker can look at this innovation, this vision, and apply it at a global scale. That’s what is so exciting! It’s not just one solution, it’s hundreds of solutions. It’s thousands of customers who are doing very similar things. We know that when we take innovation and apply it at scale, simplify it and reduce costs through our design philosophy, we can transform the planet.”
From the fields to the roads to the skies above, Parker’s clean technologies are at work, extending battery range and reducing weight in electric vehicles, improving fuel efficiency on aircraft and accelerating the adoption of wind energy. Since 2010, Parker has reduced energy intensity within its own operations by more than 40% and greenhouse gas intensity by 50%. And Parker has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040.
Part by part, system by system, breakthrough by breakthrough. Every day our team members have a role to play in helping to improve the lives of people everywhere. In practical applications all around us—and those we haven’t even dreamt of yet.
To watch a video featuring the tractor and Parker's many clean technologies, click HERE.