US engineering business Raven Industries, which specialises in precision agriculture applications, has agreed to buy the remaining equity and majority stake in Dot Technology Corporation, the Canadian developer of autonomous field scale farm machinery.

The Dot Power Platform is a diesel-engined driverless power unit that can be matched with a wide range of farm implements to carry out precision field work guided by remote sensing systems. The companies say the technology has the potential to reduce costs for both farmers and distributors.

The two companies have been working together since May 2018, using Raven’s steering, guidance and propulsion technology within Dot’s autonomous platforms. In November last year, Raven acquired Smart Ag, an Iowa-based autonomy company developing autonomous perception and path planning technologies.

“We are furthering our investment in and ownership of this unique, disruptive technology,” states Raven president and chief executive Dan Rykhus. “By investing in Dot’s growth, we believe we have the ability to lead in the next revolution of production agriculture.

“The integrated business will trade as Raven Autonomy, and will be expanding its portfolio with new offerings, which will increase the value of autonomy to end-users at a rapid pace,” he notes.

“Raven’s past involvement with Dot and current focus on autonomous agriculture makes it the perfect partner to drive Dot into the future and onto farms throughout North America and beyond,” says Robert Saik, chief executive of Dot Technology. “The amount of interest Dot has here in Canada, the US and globally is staggering.

“Raven’s involvement means our ability to provide a path to autonomy for farmers and implement manufacturers is now much stronger, providing farmers with a real way to address labour shortages, high equipment costs and rising operational expenses. This focus will ultimately enable farmers from around the world to continue to drive more efficiency into their farming operations and grow more food through autonomy.

Wade Robey, executive director of Raven Autonomy, adds: “This additional investment is further indication of Raven’s confidence in its position to bring these innovations to market and expand its market share in precision ag technology.

“We see tremendous synergies between our current business and the investments we have made in DOT and Smart Ag. We are very excited to be a leader in ag autonomy and help bring these exciting new technologies to ag markets around the globe, positioning the business for tremendous growth over the next several years.

“The company’s autonomous solutions will become an essential part of agricultural equipment technology for ag retailers and growers and enable them to drive significant productivity improvements in the future.”