Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 11:45 am

FARGO, N.D. Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford today highlighted the state of North Dakota’s continued support for the development and commercialization of autonomous technology as he joined officials at the Autonomous Nation conference in announcing that Chicago-based robotics company Sabanto has donated a tractor utilizing its autonomous platform to the Grand Farm project near Fargo.

“This is a great day for North Dakota and one of the most exciting days in the brief but impressive history of Grand Farm,” Sanford said. “Today’s announcement by Sabanto marks the next major step in proving the Grand Farm concept of autonomous agriculture and commercializing this technology to enhance farm operations while helping to solve our workforce shortage. The state is strongly committed to supporting these efforts to foster innovation, grow and diversify our economy and keep North Dakota on the cutting edge of agriculture.”

The state has provided significant support for Grand Farm and the development of autonomous technology, as well as unmanned aerial systems (UAS), through several agencies including the Department of Commerce, Department of Transportation and North Dakota Information Technology. Sanford, who chairs the Northern Plains Unmanned Systems Authority, highlighted the state’s now nearly $50 million investment in Vantis, a statewide network for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) UAS operations that will be the first of its kind in the nation and will support future operations in precision agriculture as well as other sectors.