True autonomy—you know, self-driving cars—is a long ways away for public roads, but for expansive worksites it’s another story entirely. Honda recently showed off its AWV (Autonomous Work Vehicle), an adorable mashup of several of its products first unveiled as a concept back in 2018, but more important than its perky looks are its do-work bona fides.
The AWV can operate in two modes: autonomously, or remotely controlled by a human operator. (No, you can’t hop on the tab and control it with a joystick.) It can carry 880 lbs in its little drop-side bed, and tow up to 1,653 lbs. Range is modest—about 28 miles per charge—but this is a low-speed worksite device, like a forklift, and therefore provides about eight hours of operation even in the desert. Power output and battery size are unknown, although it’ll recharge in six hours on a 120-volt plug.
It’s also cute. The round headlights recall the Honda E city car, its little bed resembles the one on the recently discontinued Acty microtruck, and it is based on the chassis of the Honda Pioneer side-by-side ATV.
Honda is testing the AWV in the real world with Black & Veatch, a large engineering firm, at one of its solar generating sites in New Mexico. While the test seems to be successful, at least according to Honda, the company doesn’t have any plans to commercialize the device at present. But it is looking for other partners to continue testing.
Source: Read Full Article