Honda today introduced the all-electric prototype Honda Autonomous Work Mower (AWM), the company’s first battery-powered electric zero-turn riding (ZTR) mower aimed at boosting worksite efficiencies through autonomous solutions. The Honda AWM will be featured at the upcoming Equip Exposition, Oct. 17-20, at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.

Earlier this year, Honda successfully field tested a proof of concept version of the Autonomous Work Mower with a top U.S. commercial landscape company. To further advance the prototype AWM’s development, in 2024, Honda will begin a pilot program and is seeking companies to participate in assessing the AWM’s applicability to their work environments.

Capable of operating in manual or autonomous mode, when manually operated, the Honda AWM learns the mowing routes and patterns set by the operator. In autonomous operation, the AWM reproduces these routes and patterns.

A “Teaching” mode enables the operator to set up autonomous operation, by manually maneuvering the ZTR AWM to create a mowing route map using Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) for accurate location recognition. The AWM learns the operator’s mowing route and patterns in “Teaching” mode. An advantage of the AWM is that it will learn the entire worksite, allowing for high-quality lawn striping, position accuracy and safe operation. The operator can create different mowing route maps customized for multiple job sites, which are then saved to a secure cloud server. 

After the “Teaching” mode is complete, the operator launches the AWM’s autonomous operation in “Playback” mode. With the AWM in the starting position, the operator downloads the specified mowing route map using a tablet or smartphone. The AWM then begins autonomous operation and mows according to the map route, providing consistent and stable grass-cutting quality. While the AWM autonomously mows, the operator gains time to maintain other areas of the property which can lead to improved efficiencies.

The AWM also features a number of built-in safety features, including omnidirectional sensing as well as radar and LiDAR sensors for obstacle detection. It also can sense terrain variations and stop when encountering obstacles. 

With vehicle speed-linked blade motor control, the AWM automatically reduces blade rotation at low speeds and low loads to reduce power consumption. At high loads, the AWM automatically reduces its speed to prevent grass clogging and uncut grass.

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