Honda has successfully tested prototypes of its Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV) at a Black & Veatch solar energy 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 large-scale construction project. This included towing activities and transporting construction materials, water, and other supplies to pre-set destinations within the work site.
“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,” said Kenton Williams, US 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.”
While Honda previously performed trials with an earlier generation of the AWV, this field test was the first to deploy multiple units working collaboratively to support construction use cases.
The Honda AWV combines the company’s durable off-road side-by-side platform with emerging autonomous technology. The company said the result is a new category of capable work vehicle that can be deployed in a variety of dynamic 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 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.
Furthermore, Black & Veatch provided feedback for product and business requirements that will help enhance the Honda AWV’s capabilities and services.
Mario Azar, president of Black & Veatch’s global power business, said” “With our leading market position in solar power, the testing of this new autonomous work vehicle aligns with our focus on advancing the industry through new and innovative ways to work at project sites.”
Honda has not announced commercialisation plans for the Honda AWV, but continues to develop the platform through field testing.