Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle: Increasing work efficiency
Honda will show real-world testing scenarios of the Honda Autonomous Work Vehicle, a prototype off-road vehicle that is a combination of Honda’s all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and emerging advanced autonomous technology. It was designed by Honda R&D Americas to bring efficiencies and increased safety to public, commercial, and consumer enterprises, such as construction, agriculture, search and rescue and firefighting. The Autonomous Work Vehicle is based on Honda’s proven ATV chassis, which has a 30-year history of accessing hard-to-reach locations with its rugged four-wheel drive system. The vehicle features GPS and sensor-based autonomy capable of guiding the unit in almost any environment; a rail accessory mount system for limitless accessories and attachments; and onboard power plug-ins.
Since the Autonomous Work Vehicle’s debut at CES 2018 under the name 3E-D18, Honda has worked with partners to beta-test and evaluate use cases 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. As R&D efforts continue on the Autonomous Work Vehicle, Honda seeks to collaborate with partners to develop accessories and attachments that will expand the machine’s potential uses, businesses that may have a need for the vehicle, and autonomy technology and sensor developers to further improve the platform’s off-road autonomy. Interested businesses and technology partners may email AWV@hra.com.
SAFE SWARM™: Creating a safer driving experience
SAFE SWARM™ is a concept that demonstrates Honda’s dream to realize a collision-free society through safe and smooth traffic flow using connected car technologies. Inspired by nature, Honda R&D developed this unique SAFE SWARM™ concept with the goal of enabling vehicles to wirelessly communicate and move fluidly and efficiently without a collision like a school of fish. Using Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technology, Honda SAFE SWARM™ allows vehicles to communicate with surrounding vehicles and share key information such as location and speed. With this information, along with the sensor suite on the vehicle, the driver or automated vehicle systems can determine the safest course of action in merging with traffic or avoiding a road hazard. Ultimately, Honda believes that connecting all road users will create a safer transportation environment, mitigating and eventually eliminating all traffic fatalities.
Honda’s SAFE SWARM™ concept can improve traffic flow by taking information from vehicles ahead to prevent potential traffic snarls, take early braking action to help avoid a wave of emergency braking, or to change lanes if needed. It does this through an on-board system with V2X communication, as well as the existing sensors on the vehicle and even sensors in the infrastructure.
After introducing the SAFE SWARM™ concept at CES 2017, Honda has been conducting closed course testing and will next evaluate the concept in a real-world environment on the 33 Smart Mobility Corridor in Ohio, planned to become the longest stretch of continuously connected vehicle-to-infrastructure roadway in the world. To accelerate SAFE SWARM™ testing, Honda is seeking research and development partners, particularly businesses involved in the field of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV).
Robotics: Enhancing people’s lives
Honda is developing a variety of robotics technologies to carry out its vision of a future where robotics devices support people and enhance human potential. The Honda P.A.T.H. (Predicting Action of the Human) Bot is a robot specialized in moving smoothly around public places without interfering with people. Equipped with artificial intelligence, Honda P.A.T.H. Bot uses an onboard camera and sensors to identify its location and recognize its surroundings, allowing it to move from one destination to the next while avoiding obstacles and selecting the optimal route. Honda is seeking P.A.T.H. Bot field demonstration testing partners.
To make the development of robotics solutions easier, Honda will introduce the Honda RaaS (Robotics as a Service) Platform. This software platform concept offers common functions, including data storage/sharing, communication control, state transition, and robot-to-robot cooperation through an interface or package such as API*2 and SDK*3. Honda aims to facilitate the seamless integration of robotics services by enabling coordination among robotics devices, systems and applications developed by Honda and various development partners. To realize this technology, Honda seeks to collaborate with robotics device developers and robotics solution providers.
Rounding out the Honda CES robotics display is Honda Omni Traction Drive System, a mechanism that enables omni-directional mobility. Originated from Honda robotics research, Honda Omni Traction Drive is the driving system of UNI-CUB, Honda’s self-balancing personal mobility device.
Since the mechanism can be applied to a variety of mobility products and devices, Honda is pursuing collaborations with partners seeking to add new value in mobility and transportation. Honda’s first collaboration is with Japan-based Nidec-Shimpo Corporation, which licensed the Honda Omni Traction Drive System for its S-CART automated guided vehicle.
Wireless Vehicle-to-Grid: Reducing CO2 while creating new customer value
Honda will debut its Wireless Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G), a bi-directional energy management system that has the potential to reduce CO2 and create new value for customers. The growing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) has the potential to strain the power grid, leading to the increased use of non-renewable energy sources to meet demand, which will result in greater carbon emissions. Recognizing that batteries in vehicles also can be used as storage to help balance supply and demand, Honda EV owners will be able to participate in the V2G program and receive compensation from utility operators who benefit from the use of Honda EVs to balance the grid’s energy supply.
Unlike charging with a conventional charging cable, the system enables noncontact charging and discharging of an EV by parking on a charging pad, which makes the charging experience more convenient for customers. Honda has developed this Wireless Vehicle-to-Grid with WiTricity, the industry pioneer in wireless power transfer over distance. The Honda Wireless Vehicle-to-Grid can help eliminate the gap between supply and demand of electricity by charging EVs when power generation is greater than power consumption, and by discharging electricity from EVs to the power grid when consumption is greater than generation. To put this system in practical use, Honda is interested in collaborating with energy-related companies, including aggregators and electric companies.