Honda to debut electric autonomous mower at Equip Expo 2023
11 October 2023
Prototype is company’s first battery-powered electric, zero-turn riding mower
Honda has developed a prototype of its all-electric Honda Autonomous Work Mower (AWM), and the company will feature the machine, its first battery-powered zero-turn riding (ZTR) mower, at the Equip Exposition at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville from Oct. 17-20.
The AWM combines three 21-in. blades, a 60-in. cutter deck, “Teaching” and “Playback” modes for manual and autonomous cutting and mowing assist features such as wheel traction control, mowing load control, blade speed control and slope management.
With a steel frame measuring 84 in. by 61 in., the 73-in.-tall all-electric prototype also contributes to Honda’s goal to hit net-zero emissions and achieve carbon neutrality for all its products and corporate activities by 2050.
“Our development of the prototype … comes at a time when technology is shaping the future of the landscaping industry,” said Hirokazu Hara, vice president of New Business Development at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “To address labor shortages and help support companies’ sustainability goals, the Honda AWM aims to provide zero-emission alternatives to gasoline-powered mowers that can reduce operating costs and help accelerate the electrification of landscape maintenance equipment.”
In addition to the all-electric benefits, Honda said its 1,378-lb. prototype offers efficiency gains thanks to its autonomous capabilities.
An operator can use the “Teaching” mode to manually operate the AWM, set up mowing routes with a GPS system and install patterns in the machine; then, the operator can launch the “Playback” mode, download a specific mowing route map using a tablet or smartphone, and watch the AWM replicate the set path.
Honda said the riding mower has high location accuracy due to omnidirectional sensing, radar and LiDAR sensors and other obstacle-detection technology.
The AWM’s speed in manual operation is 0-10 mph, and the autonomous mode only allows a max speed of 6 mph.
The mower also features a two-motor traction control system that maintains straight tracking on hills and rough terrains and suppresses tire slips.
Honda also connected the AWM’s speed to motor control, with blade rotation automatically decreasing at low speeds and low loads to lower power consumption while high loads cause the AWM to reduce speed automatically to prevent grass clogging.
After a successful proof-of-concept field demonstration by Honda and a U.S. commercial landscape company, the AWM was advanced through prototype development, and in next year, Honda will launch a pilot program, which interested companies can inquire about at the manufacturer’s Equip Expo indoor booth No. 3134 or email for info at firstname.lastname@example.org.