ETSI sets a worldwide first with a tractor that communicates with cars

Sophia Antipolis, 24 October 2018

Improved road safety in rural areas

ETSI is exhibiting the first tractor connected to a car at Sophia this week. The tractor sends a warning to road vehicles using a communication protocol standardized by ETSI. Motorists are warned at a distance of 1 kilometre, in order to avoid the collisions that frequently occur at day and by night.

Every year, almost 400 fatal accidents are caused in Europe by farm vehicles that are not clearly visible on the road, especially in rural areas. Drivers are surprised by tractors traveling at much lower speeds than their car, and occupying the entire width of the road, which means that the drivers cannot take evasive action or brake in time. Constructors of farm machinery are trying to mitigate these risks by halving the number of fatal accidents by 2035. 

The demonstration on show at ETSI is made up of a John Deere tractor and the communications platform from Sensinov and Agricultural industry Electronics Foundation (AEF). The exhibit shows how the two vehicles communicate using visual and sound signals to give warning of their presence, thanks to the standard developed by ETSI’s oneM2M partnership project.

This is just one of the 11 demonstrations on show at ETSI’s annual IoT (Internet of Things) event, which features a week of conferences, workshops and demonstrations. This workshop has become a must for experts from all over the world, who come to share their points of view and discuss the numerous innovations that spring up every day.

The European Commission wanted to improve road safety between farm vehicles and other vehicles. John Deere responded to this demand by equipping its tractors with modems,” explains Christophe Gossard, Head of European Regulatory Affairs at John Deere. “But, more importantly, the different road-going vehicles and their means of communication had to be interoperable. So, it was only natural for us to join ETSI, the only European standardization organization with the necessary experience in these areas.” 

ETSI is renowned for its telecommunications standards, but since we started working on 5G and the Internet of Things, we have welcomed some new actors into our groups. They are from the worlds of agriculture, smart cities, eHealth and connected transport”, declares ETSI’s Director General, Luis Jorge Romero. “Today, information and communication technologies include all the smart equipment that we find every day, both at home and at work.”  

About ETSI
ETSI provides members with an open and inclusive environment to support the timely development, ratification and testing of globally applicable standards for ICT-enabled systems, applications and services across all sectors of industry and society. We are a not-for-profit body with more than 850 member organizations worldwide, drawn from 66 countries and five continents. Members comprise a diversified pool of large and small private companies, research entities, academia, government and public organizations. ETSI is one of only three bodies officially recognized by the EU as a European Standards Organization (ESO). For more information please visit: or follow us on @ETSI_Standards

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