What do you get when you combine an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) with self-driving technology? An autonomous workhorse that can do manual labor without the need of human intervention. Say hello to the Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle (HAWV).
Built and designed by Honda R&D Americas, it was built around the concept as a force multiplier in order to help people in a variety of industries. These include search and rescue, landscaping, agricultural, snow removal and firefighting.
The vehicle itself sits in a mix of old, new and current technologies. It uses Honda's proven ATV chassis which have carried multiple types of four-wheel drive ATVs. Thanks to its compact size, Honda claims that it can access hard-to-reach-places with ease. Helping the HAWV navigate on its own comes courtesy of GPS and sensor-based systems that act as the eyes and ears. It even has rail accessory mounts which will allow outfitters to equip the self-driving vehicle with various equipment / gear.
Thanks to its autonomous programming, users can set the HAWV's systems in three different modes; Follow Me, Pattern, and A to B. With it, Honda says that this will allow users to accommodate a wide range of services and applications, depending on the need.
To test out the HAWV's capabilities, Honda partnered up with several companies in order to evaluate and beta-test the machine under real-world scenarios. In fact, the autonomous workhorse was able to help in putting out fires, aid farmers and agricultural researchers on the field, and remove weeds from a solar research facility. With its tough build quality and ability to carry heavy loads, it can also carry loads of equipment that would normally fatigue workers.
“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. 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,” said Pete Wendt, Senior Planner in Advanced Product Planning, Honda R&D Americas.
The Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle will officially make its world debut at the 2019 CES in Las Vegas.