Honda will be revealing the prototype of its third-generation electric Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV) at CONEXPO 2023 in Las Vegas. Accord to the company’s press release, Honda aims to “launch a new category of capable work vehicle for companies that need autonomous operation or delivery solutions,” with the AWV.
“As we continue to advance the Honda AWV platform, we want to meet with potential business partners and companies at CONEXPO that are interested in field testing the vehicle at their worksite,” said Jason VanBuren, systems engineering manager at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “We believe the Honda AWV can be a valuable solution to supporting construction teams while also enhancing worksite efficiencies and safety.”
Honda states that the third-generation AWV leverages the company’s autonomous technology to create a off-highway work vehicle that is designed to support construction-related activities and enhance workforce productivity. Honda and Black and Veatch, a global engineering and construction firm, in 2021 conducted a month-long field test of second-generation AWV prototypes at a Black and Veatch solar-energy construction site in New Mexico.
The latest machine reportedly can operate autonomously or manually via a remote control and could provide a wide range of services to industries that need autonomous operation or delivery solutions. Honda also stated it is exploring the development of attachments and tools that could make the AWV a suitable platform for a wider array of work environments, but did not elaborate on specifics.
Honda reported successful results from the field-test of the second-generation AWV at the Black and Veatch site in New Mexico. The company said it also conducted other field tests to verify that the AWVs can transport materials to precise points along a pre-set route. The third-generation machine has been refined based on this testing and features several new enhancements.
New features of the latest Honda AWV include a larger bed footprint that can accommodate up to two pallets and features a greater loading capacity of 2,000 lbs. (907 kg). The bed also has been lowered for easier loading and improved ergonomics. The autonomous mode now features a higher top speed of 10 mph (16 kph) and the battery size has been increased to offer an operating time of up to 10 hours.
Honda said it also improved navigation accuracy with lidar sensors to aid operations in locations where GNSS (global navigation satellite system) service is weak or unavailable. The tablet-based programming interface reportedly also has been simplified and features cloud connectivity, while accident-avoidance functions also are upgraded.
The AWV employs an array of sensors for autonomous operation. The vehicle utilizes GPS for location, radar and lidar for obstacle detection and cameras for remote monitoring. The company anticipates further improvements to performance and design specifications as the development of the prototype progresses.
The Honda AWV measures in at 51 inches (1300 mm) wide, 119 inches (3025 mm) long and 81 inches (2052 mm) in height. The load bed is 101 inches (2560 mm) by 51 inches (1300 mm). Unladen, the vehicle weighs 1765 lb. (800 kg). The battery has an 18.6 kWh capacity that can provide a range of up to 28 miles (45 km) at maximum load.
Honda hopes to sell the AWV commercially and is seeking partners to participate in field testing to improve functions and enhance vehicle performance. The AWV is scheduled for display at the company’s booth at CONEXPO 2023.Continue reading »