Honda will attend the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2019 with a working prototype of an autonomous all-terrain vehicle (ATV) which it's calling the Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle. The ATV is equipped with self-driving gear and artificial intelligence, to allow it to go almost anywhere on its own.
Honda says that prototypes of the AWV are in operation around the United States as part of the technology's real-world testing. The goal of the project is to bring increased efficiency and safety to various commercial and governmental work, including agriculture and search and rescue operations.
Using GPS and sensor-based guidance, the AWV can navigate hard-to-reach areas through its four-wheel-drive system. A rail accessory-mounting system allows for various tools and accessories to be added to the AWV to aid those in the field, or to bring relief to stranded people in search and rescue operations. On-board power plugins and other items are also available, allowing the autonomous ATV to be useful for a variety of scenarios.
Honda showed a conceptual prototype of the AWV at CES in 2018 and has since been beta testing it in varied work environments. In North Carolina, for example, it's been operating with a solar operations company to deliver items to workers in the field. In Colorado, it's been working with wildland firefighters, and in California it's been aiding agricultural studies at an environmental sciences college. These studies in the field have been aiding Honda's research and development efforts in designing new accessories and attachments to further improve the AWV's usefulness.
Honda is working with sensor developers and engineers to improve the AWV's off-road self-driving capabilities, and will actively seek business and technology partners for the project during CES.
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