Japanese-based automobile manufacturer Honda has demonstrated its electric autonomous work vehicle (AWV) at the Toronto Pearson Airport with the aim of bringing new value to airfield operations.

The demonstration featured an autonomous fence inspection with applications including perimeter security analysis, aircraft equipment hauling and baggage cart towing.

According to Honda, the AWV is now aiming for commercialisation and is looking for partners to field test the system for future airfield operations.

The off-road vehicle is set to navigate its own inspection routes through the use of Honda’s software system, which will oversee the vehicle moving around worksites by setting start and stop points. The system can also work manually through the use of a remote control.

Additionally, the AWV features a variety of sensors that enable its autonomous features, including GPS for location, radar and lidar for obstacle detection and stereoscopic 3D cameras for remote monitoring. 

Jason VanBuren, systems engineering manager at Honda, emphasised the further collaboration opportunities expected between the manufacturer and airside operators.

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VanBuren said: “Our Honda AWV has been verified to help improve worksite efficiencies and safety through previous field tests, so we’re ready to move to the next stage of exploring real-world applications with airfield operators.

“As we work towards commercialising the Honda AWV, we want to understand the needs of airfield operators and airport authorities to create new value by streamlining operations, enhancing safety performance and helping to meet airfield environmental sustainability goals.”

The demonstration involved collaboration across perimeter security operations with technology companies including Cisco Canada, Genwave Technologies, Illuminex AI and Eagle Aerospace.

The manufacturer aims to work closer with airfield operators, with the aim of advancing the AWV’s potential. According to Honda, the AWV could be used for the hauling of aircraft parts and equipment as well as vegetation control across the airfield.

According to Honda, the AWV will be considered to address a larger range of issues in the future, such as labour shortages, security and safety and emission reductions.