Lightbar Guidance System suits agriculture applications.

Press Release Summary:



AgGPS® EZ-Guide® Plus lightbar guidance system is available with choice of steering systems. AgGPS EZ-Steer(TM) provides assisted steering for vehicles with 6-12 in. pass-to-pass accuracy. It uses GPS and electric motor mounted on steering column to keep vehicle on line without use of hydraulics. AgGPS Autopilot(TM) provides fully automated steering capabilities for operations requiring accuracy down to 1 in. pass-to-pass. It uses integrated interface to vehicle's hydraulic system.



Original Press Release:



Trimble Transforms Lightbar Guidance into Assisted or Automated Steering for Agriculture Applications



2005 Product Line Upgradeable, Modular and Allows for Growth

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Dec. 1 -- Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) introduced today an extension to its popular AgGPS(R) EZ-Guide(R) Plus lightbar guidance system that allows EZ-Guide Plus customers the choice of upgrading to the new Trimble AgGPS EZ-Steer(TM) system for assisted steering or the field proven AgGPS Autopilot(TM) system for automated steering.

"With the introduction of the EZ-Guide Plus upgrades to the EZ-Steer or Autopilot system, Trimble now offers the broadest range of GPS-based guidance and equipment automation solutions available in the agriculture market today. The 2005 product line offers a range of price points as well as features and performance to offer farmers more options to meet their specific needs," said Alan Townsend, vice president and general manager of Trimble's Field Solutions Division. "Now farmers can upgrade their EZ-Guide lightbar system to a complete range of equipment automation options to potentially empower their entire fleet with assisted or automated steering."

AgGPS EZ-Steer System -- Assisted Steering

The EZ-Steer system is the most user friendly and affordable assisted steering system on the market today. For US$3,495 users can easily upgrade from the EZ-Guide Plus system to the EZ-Steer system to provide assisted steering for agricultural vehicles with 6-12 inch pass-to-pass accuracy. The system is ideal for broadacre crops and operations such as spraying, spreading, tillage, hay and silage applications.

The EZ-Steer assisted steering system sets a new standard by using GPS and an electric motor mounted on the steering column to keep the vehicle on line without the use of hydraulics. It uses the guidance from the EZ-Guide Plus lightbar and automatically turns the steering wheel. This allows drivers to focus on in-field tasks, such as implement or spray boom operations, to improve job quality and reduce fatigue.

Supported vehicles currently include 2WD tractors, 4WD articulated tractors, combines, and sprayers with power steering. Support for more vehicle models is expected to be added during 2005. For broadacre planting applications requiring higher accuracy, the EZ-Steer system with the EZ-Guide 252 receiver and OmniSTAR HP corrections may be used.

The EZ-Steer system is easy to install, setup, and use. Installation can typically be completed in a half-hour or less with set up taking about a minute. Once an AB or curved line is set, the engage button is pressed to begin assisted steering on the swaths. The operator can take manual control of the tractor steering by simply turning the wheel, which causes the EZ-Steer system to automatically disengage.

Affordability, ease of installation and portability for vehicles makes the EZ-Steer system an ideal option that allows farmers to equip much of their fleet with assisted steering. For more information, visit www.EZ-Steer.com.

AgGPS Autopilot System -- Automated Steering

For fully automated steering capabilities and higher accuracy levels, the EZ-Guide Plus system can be upgraded to the field proven Trimble AgGPS Autopilot system for operations requiring accuracy down to one inch pass-to-pass using an integrated interface to the hydraulic system of the vehicle. The system is available using DGPS, HP or RTK corrections with prices ranging from US$10,000 to $35,000. Automated steering allows vehicles to operate more hours in a day with considerably less stress on the driver. This technology translates to increased productivity for the farmer through more efficient utilization of tractors and extended working hours.

The AgGPS Autopilot system is ideal for all crops on any type of terrain. It can guide a tractor, combine or sprayer in straight lines, pivots, curves or headlands. It uses a 6-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU) for tilt compensation and steering angle sensors to provide very accurate vehicle control. The Trimble AgGPS Autopilot system guides the vehicle automatically in consistent rows, pass after pass. With hands-free operation, the driver can concentrate on the task at hand such as planting or material application.

As a display option for the AgGPS Autopilot system, the EZ-Guide Plus lightbar will also store three vehicle configurations allowing farmers to quickly swap their Autopilot system components from vehicle to vehicle. For more information on the AgGPS Autopilot visit: trimble.com/aggps_autopilot.html .

EZ-Guide Plus Lightbar System -- An Innovative Interface for Assisted Steering and Automation

The Trimble AgGPS EZ-Guide Plus is the first advanced lightbar guidance system that combines the latest in graphic LCD display and GPS technologies for only US$2,795. This system enables operators to manually steer equipment such as tractors, sprayers, fertilizer applicators, air seeders and large tillage tools with typical pass-to-pass accuracy of 12 inches or better. These advancements in lightbar technology provide vehicle operators with intuitive and accurate guidance in bright or low light, wind and dust, fog, rain or even snow.

Trimble's EZ-Guide Plus system can be installed in field equipment such as trucks, tractors or spray rigs in just a few minutes. Operator training takes just a few minutes more. Components include a 35-LED lightbar with integrated graphic LCD display and survey quality antenna.

The EZ-Guide Plus system provides the flexibility needed to be efficient in any terrain. It can be programmed for straight, curve, headland or center pivot guidance patterns. The graphic LCD screen displays intuitive turn and curve guidance, and it automatically advances to the next swath during turns for all patterns.

The system is fully upgradeable to grow with the user's precision farming needs, including as-applied mapping, soil sampling, flow control, variable-rate management and other functions. The system can also be upgraded to the Trimble EZ-Steer system for assisted steering and the AgGPS Autopilot for automated steering on a wide variety of vehicles. For more information visit: www.EZ-Guide.com.

Availability

The Trimble AgGPS EZ-Guide Plus lightbar guidance system and AgGPS Autopilot automated steering systems are available now. The new AgGPS EZ-Steer assisted steering system can be ordered today from a Trimble reseller and is expected to begin shipping in February of 2005. Contact a Trimble reseller for details or call 1-800-865-7438.

About Trimble

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, agricultural 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.

For an interactive look at company news and products, visit Trimble's Web site at www.trimble.com/ .

CONTACT: Lea Ann McNabb of Trimble, +1-408-481-7808, or leaann_mcnabb@trimble.com

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