Honda is looking for partners for on-site testing of its 3rd-gen AWV
Back in 2018, Honda chopped off the top half of an ATV to make a modular platform capable of lugging stuff around construction sites, and installed some autonomous vehicle tech so that it could do so without a human worker on board. That Autonomous Work Vehicle entered its second generation in late 2021, and now the company will show off a new prototype in Las Vegas later this month.
As before, the all-electric hauler can roll between pickup and drop-off points autonomously, or be operated remotely, but a navigation suite based on GPS, radar, LiDAR and camera technologies has been improved to allow for continued operation even where satellite services are unavailable. The tablet-based programming interface has been simplified too, and obstacle avoidance chops have also been enhanced.
The 51 x 119 x 81-inch (1,300 x 3,025 x 2,052-mm) Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV) is aimed at addressing such things as labor shortages and drives towards greener construction, and can roll a little faster in autonomous mode than the previous generation, at up to 10 mph (16 km/h). The battery bank has been bumped up as well, to 18.6 kWh for up to 10 hours of per-charge operation, and the turning radius has been reduced to 11.4 ft (3.47 m).
Rounding out the key upgrades, the bed platform has been lowered to cater for easier loading, and has increased in size to 101 x 51 in (2,560 x 1,300 mm) to accommodate two pallets up to a total loading capacity of 2,000 lb (907 kg). Engineers are also looking into the production of a bunch of attachments and tools for even greater utility at the worksite.
The third-generation AWV prototype is heading to CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2023 in Las Vegas, which runs from March 14 -18, where Honda will invite construction industry representatives to register for field testing of the platform at their build sites. The video below has more.
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