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Honda may target off-road markets with autonomous vehicle

By |  November 23, 2021
Based on the capabilities verified in the 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. Photo: Honda

Based on the capabilities verified in the 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. Photo: Honda

Honda may bring an autonomous vehicle solution to the aggregate industry in the years to come.

Honda and Black & Veatch tested a Honda autonomous work vehicle (AWV) prototype at a construction site in New Mexico during a month-long field test. According to Honda, 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.

While Honda previously performed testing with an earlier generation of the Honda AWV, the company says this latest field test was the first to deploy multiple units working collaboratively to support construction use cases.

“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,” says Kenton Williams, U.S. project lead for Honda AWV.

According to Honda, the AWV employs a suite of sensors to operate autonomously. It uses GPS for location, radar and lidar for obstacle detection and stereoscopic cameras for remote monitoring. The vehicle can be operated by remote control, as well.

In the latest field test, Honda’s engineers trained Black & Veatch’s personnel on the operation and safety protocols of the vehicles so the technology could be used effectively.

“Black & Veatch’s pursuit of construction innovation and safety on jobsites has led us to this relationship with Honda,” says 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.”

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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