Off-Grid Agricultural Cyber Physical Systems

My favourite topics just merged. The “John Deere Business Model” of taking something traditional and making it subscription. Starlink and its complex remote access needs due to CGNAT. And, cybersecurity, notably Cyber Physical Systems with their scary downsides of being able to move and cause damage. Yes, its a partnership with John Deere and Starlink enabling locked-down-no-maintenance-for-you tractors in off-grid areas to be self-driving and remotely controlled.

Now, for those thinking, how bad can this really be? A few farmers with some slow diesel tractors, not my problem. But, then you remember, you watched Maximum Overdrive, a fantastic moving starring the sound track of AC/DC. And, this is now coming to life with this partnership.

The world has gone AI crazy? Check
Ubiquitous satellite connectivity mesh? Check
Self-driving Cyber Physical Systems with moving teeth and high speed? Check

If you think there’s an easy way of stopping a Caterpillar D11, you are wrong. Put that in some evil person remote control hand (and we’ve already seen the damage smaller dozers can do, e.g. the killdozer when a zoning dispute went wrong). I know Caterpillar is a different company than John Deere, but a 9RX 640 is not all that different conceptually in size, power, weight, attachments. And, the world is already seeing the damage drones can do in the Russian-Ukraine war, including remote-driven tanks.

With that cheerful thought, I’ll leave you with a scene from Maximum Overdrive. Vroom Vroom.