Alphabet’s X lab, the former Google division that launched the waymo self-driving car unit, has taken the wraps off its latest’moonshot’.
The project is focused on sustainable food production and farming at large scales. A focus on developing and testing a range of software and hardware prototypes.
The project will aim technology toward solving issues around sustainability. These include feeding of earth’s growing population, and producing crops more efficiently by understanding growth cycles and weather patterns.
Global agriculture will need to produce more food in the next 50 years than in the previous 10,000. Climate change is making our crops less productive.
The tools are being developed by farmers, breeders, agronomists, and scientists. They hope that better tools will enable the agriculture industry to transform how food is grown.
The mineral team are using a new four-wheel rover-like buggy to study crops, soil, and other environmental factors. The team then uses the data collected and combines it with satellite imagery and weather data to create predictive models for how the plants will grow.
The buggy has trundled through Strawberry fields in California and soybean fields in Illinois. To date, the team has analyzed a range of crops like melons, berries, lettuce, oilseeds, oats and barley-from sprout to harvest.
Waymo is now a leading company in the self-driving car space. Just further opened up its fleet of driverless vehicles to Phoenix residents.