Honda has partnered with Black & Veatch, a global engineering, procurement and construction company, to successfully test a prototype Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV) at a Black & Veatch construction site in New Mexico. During the month-long field test, the second-generation prototype of the fully electric Honda AWV performed a range of functions at a solar energy construction project, including towing activities and transporting construction materials, water and other supplies to pre-set destinations within the work site.
First introduced as a concept at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, the Honda AWV combines the company’s rugged off-road side-by-side platform with emerging advanced autonomous technology. The result, says Honda, is a new category of work vehicle that can be deployed in a various work environments.
The AWV employs a suite of sensors to operate autonomously: GPS for location; radar and lidar for obstacle detection; and stereoscopic (3D) cameras for remote monitoring. The vehicle also can be operated by remote control. Honda previously performed testing with an earlier generation of the Honda AWV, but this field test was the first to deploy multiple units working collaboratively to support construction use cases, the company reports.
“With our test partner, Black & Veatch, Honda was able to demonstrate the performance of our rugged all-electric Autonomous Work Vehicle prototype in a large-scale construction environment,” says Kenton Williams, U.S. project lead for the Honda AWV. “We believe the Honda AWV has the potential to bring greater efficiencies, higher levels of safety and better environmental performance to the construction industry, and to other industries seeking an autonomous off-road solution.”
Based on the capabilities verified in this field test, Honda believes the Honda AWV will be capable of providing a wide range of services to a variety of industries that need a rugged off-road autonomous solution, especially where workforce constraints and safety concerns make other solutions impractical. The ability to operate autonomously – or via remote control – and carry large payloads, along with the potential to add attachments and tools, makes the Honda AWV a suitable platform for many work environments, the company states.
Honda has not announced commercialization plans for the Honda AWV, but continues to advance the platform through field testing. Companies interested in testing the Honda AWV to assess applicability to their work environment can contact Honda at: AWV@na.honda.com.
Specs on the prototype Honda AWV include:
- Vehicle dimensions: 9 ft., 6 in. (l) x 4 ft., 8 in. (h) x 4 ft. 11 in. (w)
- Unladen vehicle weight: 721kg (1,590 lbs.)
- Maximum loading capacity: 399kg (880 lbs.)
- Towing weight limit: 750kg (1,653 lbs.), including the weight of a trailer
- Minimum turning radius: 3.9m (12 ft., 9.5 in.)
- Range at maximum loading capacity: Up to 45km (27.9 miles), depending on the use case
- Charge time: Up to 6 hours (120V)
Watch a video of the Honda AWV at https://honda.us/AWV.
BLACK & VEATCH