Working in an industrial setting is arguably one of the most stressful jobs that one can do. A big part of this is repeatedly moving heavy objects from one part of the plant to the other. That takes a toll on the health of human workers while also taking up excessive amounts of work time. Honda is out to fix both of these drawbacks with the unveiling of the third-generation Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle.
Don’t Let it Looks Fool You, This Honda Is Ready For Work
At first glance, it might be easy to write off the HAWV (we’ll use this acronym from now on) as a tinker toy with the front end looking like something you would see on a plastic Playskool creation. However, everything about this machine is all about functionality with this latest version being the third generation of the HAWV. A big change from the second generation version is that payload capacity has increased with Honda claiming the machine can now haul up to 2000 lbs. of stuff with the bed also having the ability to haul up to two pallets.
The bed itself has also been lowered to help improve loading for operators. The HAWV has a top speed of 10 mph and its 18.6 kilowatt-hour battery pack can store enough juice to operate for up to 10 hours before it needs to go drink more electrons.
“We believe the Honda AWV can be a valuable solution to supporting construction teams while also enhancing worksite efficiencies and safety. Leveraging Honda’s decades of experience developing reliable, safe, and clean mobility technology, we aim to address issues such as labor shortages and improved environmental performance,” Jason VanBuren, systems engineering manager at American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
While the HAWV might seem perfectly at home in a warehouse or factory, Honda reps claim that it can also perform certain duties at a construction site with the little vehicle being programmed to deliver its cargo to a particular location at the site. Having the HAWV do it will allow some of the human workers to do other tasks which in turn would help enhance productivity while also potentially reducing the amount of time needed to complete a project.
When Will I See One?
For now, Honda is looking for businesses that are interested in testing the HAWV in the real world. However, if the machine does well in its initial tests, look for Honda to perhaps pursue the idea even further and perhaps make production models that would be targeted towards certain commercial customers.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.