At the largest construction tradeshow in North America, CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023 in Las Vegas, March 14-18, 2023, Honda will showcase the new capabilities of the third-generation of an autonomous work vehicle that could be of interest to utility-scale solar builders.
The prototype of the all-electric Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV) pairs up autonomous technology with a rugged off-road work vehicle that is designed to support construction-related activities and enhance workforce productivity. The second-generation Honda AWV was field tested at a large-scale solar construction site in the Southwest U.S.
With the ability to operate autonomously – or manually via remote control – the Honda AWV could provide a wide range of services on site. The company is also exploring the development of attachments and tools that could make the vehicle a suitable platform for many work environments.
“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. Leveraging Honda’s decades of experience developing reliable, safe and clean mobility technology, we aim to address issues such as labor shortages and improved environmental performance.”
As Honda aims to commercialize AWV, the company is looking for partners to participate in field testing
Based on real-world testing, the third-generation Honda AWV features a number of enhancements:
- Increased bed size to 2 pallets and greater loading capacity of 2000 pounds
- Improved navigation in locations where GNSS (global navigation satellite system) service is weak or unavailable through the use of LiDAR sensors
- Simplified tablet-based programming interface and cloud connectivity
- Higher speed in autonomous mode – up to 10 miles per hour (mph)
- Increased battery size and longer operating time of up to 10 hours
- Enhanced avoidance function for vehicles stopped on road
- Lower bed for easier loading and improved ergonomics
The Honda AWV employs a suite of sensors to operate autonomously, using GPS for location, radar and lidar for obstacle detection and cameras for remote monitoring. Previous field tests have also successfully verified that multiple Honda AWVs can transport and deliver construction materials and supplies at precise points along a pre-set route.
— Solar Builder magazine