If a few weeks ago we saw how Volvo already sells transport services with autonomous trucks, now Honda joins this trend of having vehicles without drivers off the roads, where complexity increases. They are still in an embryonic phase, but the capabilities to perform outdoor tasks autonomously are very large.
Honda has already tested prototypes in search and rescue, firefighting, construction, agriculture, snow removal and now seeks partners to promote this technology. To the platform of an ATV quad with 4WD total traction, the upper half has been removed, replaced by a set of sensors, an autonomous driving team and the rest of the necessary elements depending on the task to be performed. This robust autonomous work vehicle platform (AWV) has a system of guides that allow you to equip all kinds of accessories. For now, it does not move too intelligently, since it can barely be configured in the Follow Me, Pattern (which repeats a path repetitively) or From A to B. But with just these three functionalities, it is able to be of great help.
Honda has already been testing it. First towing a lawn mower keeping the underbrush at bay in a 72-hectare solar farm in North Carolina (United States), on the other hand in Colorado the fire department had them following their men, taking them the heavy equipment while they went by steep lands to extinguish the forest fires. In California, Honda’s autonomous vehicle has also been performing agricultural tasks, independently fumigating crops for weed and pest control, which allows people not to be exposed to chemicals. Also transporting harvested crops from one place to another, from the field to the place of packaging
They are not ready to go to the market yet. Honda will take this vehicle (code-named 3E-D18) to CES, where they were launched for the first time last year. The company hopes to meet with partners who can help further develop the technology, or collaborate to expand their uses by providing them with more technology.