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Honda successfully tests autonomous work vehicle prototype

Autonomous work vehicle prototype a success for Honda

Honda has successfully tested the second-generation prototype of an autonomous work vehicle in the United States.

Completed in partnership with major construction and engineering firm Black & Veatch, the fully-electric vehicle completed tasks such as towing and materials transport to pre-set destinations at the solar energy construction project.

“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 Honda project lead Kenton Williams.

“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.”

Honda’s autonomous work vehicle prototype was successfully tested in the United States

The autonomous work vehicle is just under 3m long and 1.5m wide and high.

It weighs 721kg, has a maximum loading capacity of 399kg and can also tow up to 750kg.

The vehicle can travel up to 45km while at its maximum loading capacity before requiring a six-hour charge to be fully powered up again.

Honda first introduced its autonomous work vehicle concept in 2018 and has previously tested an earlier generation. However, this was the first trial that involved multiple units working together on site.

To operate within the 400ha site, Honda first produced a high-definition map that allowed Black & Veatch to set precise start and stop points using a cloud-based app.

Honda’s vehicle then used its array of sensors to operate, with GPS providing location, obstacle detection built in and 3D cameras, allowing for remote monitoring.

The vehicle successfully stopped within centimetres of its pre-set points.

If needed, the vehicle can also be operated by remote control.

Honda has not yet made plans to commercialise its autonomous work vehicle but will continue field testing.

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