Intelligent planes, trains, automobiles (well, tractors) already used in Iowa

Last week, we brought you the story of how Mark Nolte and the Iowa City Area Development Group are leading conversations with state and local government leaders to make Iowa a haven for driverless vehicle technology. Nolte and others spent the week at the Automated Vehicle Symposium in San Francisco to learn more about the industry and extend invitations. “What we’ve got to do now is just plant our flag, and say ‘Iowa’s open for business, we want companies to come in and test these vehicles,’” said Nolte, president of ICAD. “We think there’s a huge economic upside if we can be one of the first states to get to the table.” (Update: Read Nolte’s first-hand perspective on the conference here.) Most testing of self-driving cars in the U.S., by companies like Google, Tesla and Volvo has happened in California and Nevada. But those areas don’t have the varied terrain, snow and ice these cars will need to face before becoming widely adopted by the motoring public. There are several other reasons why economic developers belive Iowa would be a good place for this technology to develop, including the national advanced driving simulator in Coralville, an active and growing software development community and strength in the insurance industry. But one of the most compelling reasons (in my opinion) is that, intelligent vehicles of all types are already being used in Iowa in agriculture and avionics – two areas where our state has a wealth of know-how. The technology is here, and we’ve got the planes, trains and automobiles (well, tractors) to prove it. Any examples I missed? Add them in the comments below.  Planes:  Call them…