- honda has been testing its autonomous work vehicle, an electric self-driving prototype closely related to its side-by-sides but geared toward carrying supplies.
- the awv has a payload limit of 880 pounds and can tow over 1600 pounds, traveling up to 28 miles when fully loaded.
- honda tested the awv at a solar energy construction site in new mexico, where it had to deal with high temperatures and uneven terrain.
we’ve heard for several years of the impending arrival of autonomous vehicles, with proponents of the technology painting rosy pictures of robotaxis shuttling us around while we spend even more time engrossed in our screens. but while there has been a lot of buzz around self-driving passenger vehicles, autonomous technology could find its place first in commercial applications. honda announced today that it has successfully completed a test of its autonomous work vehicle (awv), a cute prototype with an uninspired name used for hauling supplies around work sites.
the fully electric awv rides on the platform that underpins honda's side-by-side atvs, and it uses a combination of radar and lidar sensors, gps location positioning, and stereoscopic cameras to maneuver on its own, although it can be operated via remote control. the awv is nine and a half feet long and almost five feet wide, weighing in a 1590 pounds without any cargo. it has a range of 27.9 miles when fully loaded, and will fully recharge in up to six hours with a 120-volt connection.
honda tested the awv with construction engineering company black & veatch, utilizing a solar energy construction site in new mexico where several awvs towed and carried supplies to pre-set destinations. for the test, honda created a high-definition map of the area so that black & veatch operators could set destination points for the awvs on a cloud-based app, and honda says that awvs were able to stop within centimeters of the waypoints.
the awv may look cheery, but it’s one tough cookie. at black & veatch’s 1000-acre site, the awv carried payloads up to 880 pounds and also pulled trailers holding over 1600 pounds, operating for up to eight hours in the sweltering new mexico sun.
honda envisions the awv serving a variety of industries that require an off-road-capable supply vehicle, especially where safety concerns make eliminating the driver a priority; one possibility could be mining. honda has not officially announced any plans to produce the awv but says it will continue testing the prototypes and has asked interested companies to contact them about trials. we hope the awv eventually becomes a mainstay at work sites and that, if and when it does, honda gives it a more fittingly adorable name.