Honda and Black & Veatch announced the completion of a successful test of the fully-electric prototype Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV) at a Black & Veatch construction site in New Mexico.
Honda's announcement says that during the month-long field test, the 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, this field test deployed multiple units working together to support construction use cases.
Honda uses its off-road side-by-side platform with emerging technology for what it calls a new category of work vehicle that can be deployed in a variety of environments. The vehicle employs 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, collaborated with Honda on real-world testing. 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 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 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,” added 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.”
Honda says the vehicle concept was first introduced at CES 2018 in Las Vegas.