Honda Using Autonomous “AWVs” at Construction Site Test

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Rob Wells

Black and Veatch uses Honda’s autonomous work vehicles (AWVs) at a job site in New Mexico to test their effectiveness. The company pushes the vehicles by towing and moving construction materials and other supplies. Other sites have tried the AWV; but Black and Veatch plans to work Honda’s vehicles harder and longer than at any other site.

Honda showcased the AWV as a concept at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. The vehicle works autonomously and operates in rough, off-road locations. Various instruments direct the AWV, including DPS, radar and LIDAR, and 3D cameras. In addition to autonomous operation, users can handle the AWV via remote control.

“Black & Veatch’s pursuit of construction innovation and safety on job sites has led us to this relationship with Honda,” said Mario Azar, president of Black & Veatch’s global power business. “With our leading market position in solar power, the testing of this new autonomous work vehicle aligns with our focus on advancing the industry through new and innovative ways to work at project sites.”

Support structures for solar panels enable solar energy on the worksite. Using radar, LIDAR, and drone surveillance, Honda created a 1000-acre topographical map of the site. The AWVs show their usefulness in the extreme high temperatures of New Mexico. Where workers require frequent breaks, the AWVs can operate for eight hours straight.

Each AWV is rectangular, 10 feet long, 4 feet high, and 5 feet wide. It weighs 1,590 lbs. and can carry 900 lbs. or tow trailers of 1,600 lbs.

Using data drawn from build-site testing, Honda hopes to blaze the trail for construction industry automated vehicles.

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