By Mark Benishek, AEM Technical Director

Summer has come to an end, and the daylight hours are already getting noticeably shorter.

It's a fact that came to mind recently as I found myself driving home from work. In the distance, I saw my car lights reflecting off of a slow-moving vehicle symbol (SMV) on the back of a tractor pulling a hay wagon. While it's certainly not an unusual occurrence here in the Midwest, I happened to notice because I had just attended the AEM Ag Product Safety & Compliance Council and Associated Technical Meeting in Milwaukee. The three days of committee meetings provided a wealth of information on happenings related to agriculture equipment safety and standards development.

While observing the slow-moving vehicle (SMV) sign on the wagon, I recalled a notable update provided during the meetings related to a new wireless communication feature being developed between ag equipment and automobiles. The update centered around an idea that calls for new autos with built-in communication systems to receive warning messages from ag equipment that may be on the highway ahead. This type of system has been discussed for some time now, but updates associated with the feature (and on other projects) had been shared at the AEM meetings. The Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (AEF) provided a status report on this program, as the organization was selected to be part of a European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI) project to develop an interface between cars and ag equipment addressing this safety issue that accrues around the world. CEMA and oneM2M were also involved in the project. AEM is a founding member of AEF.

The use case above and at right shows the intent of the system. As a piece of equipment turns onto a highway, the operator can turn on a beacon that will transmit a message saying “Slow moving machine ahead.” The message can then be received by autos, buses, trucks, or other types of vehicles within range.

This project has a defined schedule from the beginning, covering a little more than a year to complete. It included required actions and deliverables. The completion is scheduled for the end of September with the delivery of a final technical report. More information on the report will be made available later in the year.

With the high amount of interest seen in this project, I think it's safe for me to say it's not going to take long for this feature to be adopted by many manufacturers due to its great potential to prevent accidents and damage to equipment. 

And, perhaps more importantly, a strong takeaway from this effort between ETSI, CEMA, oneM2M and AEF is that different sectors can and need to work together to meet the future needs of all work sectors as we move toward a more connected world.

For more information on AEF or AEM activities, don’t hesitate to contact me at (mbenishek@aem.org, tel: 414-298-4118). 

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