Honda invents the cutest creations, but don't be fooled - this is properly rugged.
Honda is one of the world's foremost innovators when it comes to robotics and autonomous vehicle technology. In fact, it beat Tesla to its first Level 3 autonomous car earlier this year and has been preparing to test autonomous taxis in Japan. It has also shown us a concept of an autonomous delivery vehicle, but what few have failed to consider is how autonomous tech can be used away from the road. Honda, however, is always forward-thinking and has now revealed that it has successfully completed its first test of the Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV) at a real construction site in New Mexico. The future is here.
The electric prototype was tested in collaboration with Black & Veatch on a construction site for a massive solar farm. It was used over the course of a month to deliver construction materials, water, and other supplies to preset destinations on the worksite. Honda says that this machine features a forward-facing camera, a 3D camera system, GPS, and sensors for lidar and radar, allowing it to avoid obstacles on its own, learn a route, and stop within a few inches of its target destination. It can also be remotely operated through an app, and those who have seen it in action say that the AWV has helped save time and reduce effort for the human resources on site.
Thanks to the fact that it's based on an off-road buggy, this rugged little robot is perfect for harsh work environments, but now Honda wants to take things to the next level and is actively seeking partnerships with more businesses so that it can continue to develop the vehicle. Measuring 114 inches in length, 56 inches in height, and 59 inches wide, the AWV can carry quite a large load. The current loading capacity is 880 pounds while the towing limit is 1,653 lbs. Honda says that the AWV can manage 27.9 miles of range with a full charge and can be recharged in six hours on a 120V power source. The AWV's capabilities are even more impressive when you consider that various examples worked for a full eight hours in the New Mexico heat, so this is ideal for those who work in harsh or treacherous environments. This is just the beginning, but it's a step towards a future where your Honda Civic drives you to work.