Honda develops prototype autonomous work vehicle

Nov. 21, 2021

Honda, Torrance, Calif., and Black & Veatch, Overland Park, Kan., have successfully tested the 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 electric Honda AWV performed a range of functions at a large-scale solar energy construction project, including towing activities and transporting construction materials, water and other supplies to pre-set destinations within the work site.

While Honda previously performed testing with an earlier generation of the Honda AWV, this field test was the first to deploy multiple units working collaboratively to support construction use cases. First introduced as a concept at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, the Honda AWV combines the company’s off-road side-by-side platform with emerging advanced autonomous technology. The result is a new category of capable work vehicle that can be deployed in a variety of work environments. The Honda AWV employs a suite of sensors to operate autonomously, using 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.

Black & Veatch, a global engineering, procurement and construction company focused on construction optimization and technology innovation, collaborated with Honda to provide a real-world testing ground to validate the Honda AWV technology at an active construction site. The company’s personnel were trained by Honda’s engineers on the operation and safety protocols of the vehicles to effectively use the technology in the field. Black & Veatch provided detailed feedback for product and business requirements that will help enhance the Honda AWV’s capabilities and services.

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 an off-road autonomous solution, especially where workforce constraints and safety concerns make other solutions impractical. Honda plans to continue to advance the platform through field testing before determining a commercialization plan.

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