AutoNxt Automation, a Mumbai-based electric mobility firm, was formed in 2016 by Kaustabh Dhonde. After nearly six years, he is on the verge of producing India’s first electric autonomous (self-driving) tractor.
Kaustubh Dhonde, a 27-year-old entrepreneur, launched AutoNxt Automation, a Mumbai-based electric mobility firm, to solve India’s high expenses of driving and maintaining traditional diesel tractors.
The company has created an autonomous electric tractor with a totally electric powertrain and an in-house designed mobile app that provides live tracking, battery and system condition updates.
The farmer/owner may use the app to tell the tractor what crop it is ploughing on a given day, and the tractor will begin operations appropriately.
The owner and tractor communicate over your standard Wi-Fi network, and the app informs the farmer on all tractor information, including everything from battery % left to how much he or she saved by converting to electric.
The tractor is expected to make a difference in a wide range of operations, including ploughing, tilling, disking, and pesticide spraying.
AutoNxt is a startup that has created unique PMSM (Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor, an AC synchronous motor) motors as well as an in-house BMS (battery management system).
They offer three autonomous electric tractor variants: 25 HP, 35 HP, and 45 HP.
The 25 HP model can carry loads of up to 750 kg and has a runtime of 5 hours on the farm (7 hours on the road) on a single charge. The 35 HP model can transport up to 1,800 kg and has an 8-hour run duration on the farm. Finally, the 45 HP model, which is powered by a 32 KW motor and a 35 KWHr battery, has an 8-hour run duration on the farm (10 hours on the road). And it can transport items weighing up to 1,800 kg at a time.
AutoNxt has given several of their self-driving electric tractors to farmers throughout the state, including 75-year-old ThateJi of Pimpalgaon Baswant, a tiny town 30 kilometres north of Nashik.
They have already received Rs 6.4 crore from key investors in a seed round and intend to raise around $3.5 million (Rs 27 crore). They want to formally conclude this round of fundraising by the end of November 2022, after which they will go on to pilot production.