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Farmers Let Trimble GPS Technology Do the Driving
New AgGPS Autopilot DGPS System Automatically Guides Tractors
by Satellites to Improve Productivity
TULARE, Calif. and LOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 12, 2002 - Farming just got easier and more affordable with the introduction of Trimble's (NASDAQ:TRMB) AgGPS® Autopilot DGPS system. The new automated steering system uses Differential Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to guide agriculture vehicles in consistent rows for tilling, spraying and applying fertilizers.
The announcement was made today at the World Ag Exposition in Tulare, Calif., and the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky.
The new DGPS system is a product line extension based on Trimble's successful AgGPS Autopilot system, which uses real-time kinematic (RTK) GPS technology. The new DGPS system uses the same advanced technology but eliminates the need for a base station and radio connection, making it more affordable for farmers to put their operations on autopilot to improve productivity and profitability.
The driver, with hands-free operation, can concentrate on the task at hand such as material application, rather than driving and the task. Automated steering allow machines to operate more hours in a day with considerably less stress on the operator. This technology breakthrough translates into increased productivity for the farmer through more efficient utilization of tractors and extended working hours.
"The major thrust of the Autopilot product line is directed at increasing the productivity of the operator and machine they use," said Alan Townsend, vice president and general manger of Trimble's Field Solutions Division. "With the introduction of our new AgGPS Autopilot DGPS system, advanced technology is now more affordable for the farmer. It is the ideal automated steering system for applications where inch-level accuracy is not required."
Trimble's AgGPS Autopilot DGPS system easily connects to the vehicles steering system to automatically guide it in consistent rows-pass after pass. A lightbar or field computer inside the cab allows the operator to select field patterns and display operating parameters. The in-cab display also is used to guide the tractor on path at the beginning of a row. Once on a row, the driver engages the AgGPS Autopilot DGPS system with the touch of a button to perform and oversee field operations.
At the heart of the system is a high-performance Trimble GPS navigation controller. Attached to the controller is an AgGPS differential receiver (AgGPS 114, 124 or 132 receiver), lightbar and remote keypad. For operators that may need increased accuracy in the future, the Autopilot DGPS system is fully upgradable to RTK-level performance.
The AgGPS Autopilot DGPS saves time and money. It reduces driver fatigue, eliminates guess rows, reduces compaction, and allows around-the-clock operations. Most importantly, the system increases efficiency to lower the cost per acre.
The AgGPS Autopilot DGPS system is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2002 through Trimble's Agricultural reseller network.
Trimble is a leading innovator of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. In addition to providing advanced GPS components, Trimble augments GPS with other positioning technologies as well as wireless communications and software to create complete customer solutions. Trimble's worldwide presence and unique capabilities position the Company for growth in emerging applications including surveying, automobile navigation, machine guidance, asset tracking, wireless platforms, and telecommunications infrastructure. Founded in 1978 and headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., Trimble has more than 2,000 employees in more than 20 countries worldwide.
Investor Relations: Investor Relations of Trimble: 408-481-6914
Media Contact: LeaAnn McNabb of Trimble: 408-481-7808