Honda and Black & Veatch have successfully tested the prototype Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV) at a Black & Veatch 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 solar energy construction project, including towing activities and transporting construction materials, water, and other supplies to pre-set destinations within the work site. Watch a video of the Honda AWV at https://honda.us/AWV.
While Honda previously performed testing with an earlier generation of the Honda AWV, this field test was the first to deploy multiple units working collaboratively to support construction use cases.
First introduced as a concept at CES 2018 in Las Vegas, the Honda AWV combines the company’s rugged and durable off-road side-by-side platform with emerging advanced autonomous technology. 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 focused on construction optimization and technology innovation, 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. Black & Veatch provided detailed feedback for product and business requirements that will help enhance the Honda AWV’s capabilities and services.
“Black & Veatch’s pursuit of construction innovation and safety on job sites has led us to this relationship with Honda,” said Mario Azar, president of Black & Veatch’s global power business. “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.”
“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, U.S. 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.”
Based on the capabilities verified in this field test, Honda believes the Honda AWV will be capable of providing a wide range of services to a variety of industries that need a rugged off-road autonomous solution, especially where workforce constraints and safety concerns make other solutions impractical. The ability to operate autonomously – or via remote control – and carry large payloads, along with the potential to add attachments and tools, makes the Honda AWV a suitable platform for many work environments.
Honda has not announced commercialization plans for the Honda AWV, but continues to advance the platform through field testing.