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CES: Honda seeking partners for Autonomous Work Vehicle

by Drew Johnson

Honda's self-driving ATV will be on display in the desert.

Autonomous vehicles are nothing new for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but this year Honda is bringing a different kind of self-driving vehicle to the annual show with the hopes of landing new business and technology partners.

Honda announced on Thursday that its CES 2019 booth will include the company's Autonomous Work Vehicle. Although Honda is well known for building cars, the Autonomous Work Vehicle is actually based off of the company's ATV chassis. If a self-driving ATV sounds familiar, that's because Honda showed off a concept version of the Autonomous Work Vehicle at this year's CES.

However, since that January 2018 introduction, Honda has done some real world testing with its Autonomous Work Vehicle. The driverless four-by-four was put to work over the last several months cutting grass at a solar operations company, transporting harvested crops at a farm and helping wildland firefighters by carrying their equipment.

"Honda showed its vision of the Autonomous Work Vehicle as a concept at CES 2018, and we've been testing in real-world scenarios to demonstrate the value and capabilities of this unique machine," said Pete Wendt, senior planner in Advanced Product Planning, Honda R&D Americas. "Honda is looking for additional partners to evolve the technology and develop attachments or accessories that will expand the potential uses for the Autonomous Work Vehicle.”

Using GPS and onboard sensors, the Autonomous Work Vehicle can operate in three different modes -- Follow Me, Pattern, and A to B. It can also be equipped with a number accessories, making it adaptable to virtually any work environment.

Honda is hoping its CES display will grab the attention of companies that might need such a tool, or third parties that might want to develop accessories and attachments for the Autonomous Work Vehicle. Honda is also open to partnering with tech companies to further hone the Autonomous Work Vehicle's autonomous systems.

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