Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle could be the fire truck of the future

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Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle prototype

Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle prototype

Honda will use next month’s 2019 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to highlight a number of technologies it is working on in fields as diverse as robotics, connectivity and self-driving capability.

Among the highlights will be a prototype for a self-driving all-terrain vehicle that Honda is seriously looking at commercializing. In fact, the automaker is already seeking signs of interest from potential business and technology partners.

The vehicle is based on the 3E-D18 concept (shown in video below) first shown at the 2018 CES and in prototype form is branded the Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle. It has been developed to bring efficiencies and increased safety to public, commercial, and consumer enterprises, such as construction, agriculture, search and rescue and firefighting. Imagine a small fleet of them dragging hoses and other resources in remote areas during wildfires, such as last month’s devastating Camp Fire in California.

To develop the prototype, Honda started with its proven ATV chassis and integrated GPS and sensor-based self-driving systems capable of guiding the unit in almost any environment. The next stage will see Honda work with partners to develop accessories and attachments that will expand the vehicle’s potential uses.

Beta-testing of the Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle prototype is already taking place in a broad array of work environments, including a large-scale solar operations company in North Carolina, a wildland firefighting division in Colorado, and an agricultural and environmental sciences college in California.

The 2019 CES runs from January 8-11.

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