Photo by John Deere Construction & Technology
SmartDetect system uses stereo camera technology, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to specifically identify people and other objects on job sites.

Interview with Deere’s Jon Gilbeck: Advanced Vision

Dec. 17, 2023
Jon Gilbeck, manager, customer success and technology sales, John Deere, talks about X-Tier and P-Tier excavators, advanced vision, stereo camera and grading technology, and 3 million hours on hybrid-electric models.

RER: What is new in your company’s products?

Gilbeck: In the next year, John Deere will be launching many new products including the 744 and 824 X-Tier wheel loaders, the 85 P-Tier excavator, 335 P-Tier compact track loader and the John Deere Operations Center, which were on display at ConExpo 2023 and will be arriving at John Deere dealers throughout the year.

What are some of the latest trends in earthmoving products – in terms of safety, in terms of helping customers be more precise in digging, grading, excavating, etc.?

John Deere has started offering advanced vision systems with 360-degree views around the machine. Additionally, our SmartDetect system uses stereo camera technology, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to specifically identify people and other objects on job sites. With SmartGrade on multiple product lines in John Deere’s lineup, we’re helping customers do more with available labor and prevent re-work.

What trends are you expecting in the foreseeable future?

Increased use of technology to do the job right the first time, do more with available labor, and increase customer uptime.

What are your rental customers asking for in terms of developing new products?

We’ve seen a continued ask for commonalities between machines making equipment simpler to operate and get familiar with quickly. 

Most earthmoving manufacturers are coming out with more battery-operated electric and hybrid products. Are you developing more in this area? And what kind of demand are you seeing from rental companies – are they catching on in the rental marketplace?

John Deere has identified three categories of customer operations to support adoption of battery electric vehicles. First, customers working in a fixed area, like a small farm or landscaping yard. This is an ideal application for electric machines as the utilization is generally lower and there is on-site access to charging. The second is where the customer requires daily transport of machines back to the yard at the end of the day, which is another ideal customer. The third is non-daily transport, where regular access to fixed charging infrastructure is limited. 

John Deere has over 3 million customer hours on hybrid-electric models and is continuing to expand in this area with the introduction of two new wheel loaders and a crawler dozer at ConExpo 2023.