03 Jan
Honda Tests Autonomous Off-Road Work Vehicles Honda Tests Autonomous Off-Road Work Vehicles

Honda Tests Autonomous Off-Road Work Vehicles

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The vehicles combine Honda's all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and emerging advanced autonomous technology and are designed to improve safety and efficiency for commercial, public, and consumer endeavors such as firefighting, landscaping, rescue, agriculture, construction, and snow removal. 

The ATV chassis that serves as the base for the new Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV) has been developed over three decades with the purpose of helping people to reach remote locations by way of a four-wheel drive system. Because of its compact size and ability to operate off-road, the prototype is ideal for a variety of locations ranging from tight urban pedestrian areas to thickly vegetated forests.

"Honda showed its vision of the Autonomous Work Vehicle as a concept at CES 2018, and we've been testing in real-world scenarios to demonstrate the value and capabilities of this unique machine," Pete Wendt, senior planner in Advanced Product Planning, Honda R&D Americas, said in a press release. "Honda is looking for additional partners to evolve the technology and develop attachments or accessories that will expand the potential uses for the Autonomous Work Vehicle."

Honda has already examined use cases for the AWV in a trio of varied environments: a woodland firefighting division in Colorado; a massive solar operations concern in North Carolina; and, an agricultural and environmental sciences educational institution in California.

For the Colorado use case, Honda installed a gear rack on the AWV that was used to haul supplies, water, and equipment, following the firefighters by using a "Follow Me" navigation mode.

One of the most difficult challenges facing firefighters who battle wildfires is how to allocate and deploy resources, especially since firefighters are each typically weighed down by about 60 pounds of equipment.

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Read 1335 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 December 2018 03:03
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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