Airstream’s self-propelled trailer and luxe motorhome concepts could soon be a reality




Airstream is finally going electric with its two newly announced EV concepts namely eStream and Thor Vision Vehicle. The eStream trailer developed in close quarters with European subsidiary Erwin Hymer Group and tech company ZF, addresses the lingering issue with most campers and RVs – that being – the need for extra power which in turn limits the range of towing vehicles.

Whether the eStream is hooked onto a pure electric vehicle like the Tesla Model 3 or the hybrid Ford Escape – the trailer by Thor Industries (Airstream’s parent company) is not just dead weight. This is done with the dual independent motors and the two onboard lithium-ion battery packs. The Thor’s advanced electrical architecture brings to the fore regenerative braking energy as the motors can be used to apply torque to the wheels in both directions.




One thing is to keep in mind here, the eStream weighs more than traditional trailers – so, how much electrical power boost is negated has also to be considered. The trailer can be operated remotely too via an app when it’s detached from the towing vehicle. So, you can reposition it on a campsite or alight it for hitching up to a vehicle. The modern travel trailer comes with solar panels for off-grid camping on extended adventures. On the inside, it is loaded with things like voice and touchscreen activated climate and lighting controls.




The other one is the Thor Vision Vehicle which is a Ford Transit-based motorhome EV with a 300-mile range. This recreational vehicle comes with a digital cockpit that’s quite high tech and you have the luxury of extensive tools to find chargers en route to the next destination. On the inside, everything looks upbeat in terms of a comfortable journey on the roads, and a cozy sleep by the nighttime.

For now, the two vehicles are in the concept stage, and whether or not they’ll make it to the production lines is also uncertain. I believe, both these being highly practical and satiating the needs of users will make it to reality one day – of course with a premium price tag presumably. Especially the eStream which brings towing capabilities to vehicles that you would normally not even think of burdening the task with. A game-changing feature for the trailer industry and other related spheres.

Designer: Thor Industries

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Renault Pet Communication EV is the future of maintaining your pet-life balance




We cannot rule out the fact that interacting with pets can improve a human’s physical and mental health. Ask any pet parent and they will wholeheartedly vouch for it. But as I see it, not everyone of us gets enough time to spend and communicate with our pooches or kitties. Travel and work schedules are two biggest criminals. An electric vehicle design for Renault, aptly called “Pet Communication Device” sets out to provide a stylish and accessible transportation concept that could level things up in our favor going into the future.

If you’re lured by new design and innovation, you would have come across the Renault EZ-GO Concept Vehicle. This autonomous and shared electric mobility concept with large windows and accessibility from the boot was an eye-catcher. Drawing some cues from this design for the autonomy of public transportation; the Renault Pet Communication Device by Sejoon Kim, is perhaps made for ultimate human-pet privacy.

This is visioned as an electric vehicle that allows pets and their owners to share a space beyond the confines of their home. The designer believes, that Gen-Z’s race to individualism and high dependence on smart devices will alienate them further in the future when maybe their pet is the only companion. In that scenario, leisure time with the cat or dog would be a relieving experience. Thus, this EV design is created to ensure that the owner and the pet can move in and out of the vehicle with ease. It would have a large WZ-GO-style door on the rear that would enable the pet to access her space in the back of the vehicle.

The design renders give out a very basic exterior appeal reminiscent of toy cars from our childhood, but the interiors are detailed and impressive to floor a pet owner in me. The space inside is divided into two sections (open in the middle). The front of the vehicle is reserved for the human while the back is a play area for the pet supplied with balls, toys, cat scratchers and more. The human cockpit can be transformed into an office. The dashboard pulls out to form a table, you have a projector, speakers for entertainment, and a coffee machine to keep you high on caffeine!

For more possibilities of bonding and communication, there’s a pet bed under the owner’s seat, which in addition to being cozy would ensure the pet doesn’t feel motion sickness while driving. A nice overhead sunroof allows the owner and the pet to sit and watch the clouds by the day and stars in the night. On the hood is the Renault logo that if you pull forward unfolds a table to create an addition to your outdoor lifestyle with the pet. There is no word on whether Sejoon’s pet-friendly ride would be autonomous, but if it is, it will open new avenues for human-pet bonding.

Designer: Sejoon Kim

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Hyundai EGG compact pickup truck carries a miniature Cybertruck vibe

Hyundai has its design and automotive technology right on point when it comes to mass-producing compact city cars that have earned the trust of millions. This gave designer Alejandro Llisterri the perfect opportunity to let his imagination loose and craft a Hyundai i10-inspired concept that is much more than just a small city car. In fact, it’s a mini pickup truck for two, ready to take on any adventure coming its way. Christened the Hyundai EGG, this compact off-roading capable set of wheels is a mix of a buggy and compact hatchback.

Alejandro wanted to take a detour from the conventional automotive designs that mostly focus on luxury and comfort. The ideation took him down the path of crafting a reliable electric mini pickup car that has a better mileage even at higher speeds while en route to the neighboring city. The efficiency of the EGG’s electric drivetrain permits the car to maintain good range even when treading the off-roading trails. Since vision and blind spots can be a real problem while driving in treacherous and unfavorable weather conditions, the designer lends the Hyundai EGG a 360-degree panoramic windshield for clear visibility for a safer drive.

The spare tire takes up the spot above the boot section of the EV, and based on the front grill design, I can safely bet the battery is placed on the front and not the rear of the vehicle. Thereby, the rear can hold a respectable amount of cargo for an expedition for two in the woods. Those big chunky tires and the sharp aesthetics reminiscent of the Tesla Cybertruck are evoking enough for early adopters to keep interested in this cute little monster. Hyundai EGG has surely got the futuristic influence in its design for me to vouch for it to lay rubber on the city streets and off-road trails someday. What’s your take on this sharp little four-wheeler for a dystopian future?

Designer: Alejandro Llisterri

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Move over Cybertruck – Thundertruck with bat wing solar awnings is the Batmobile avatar for all off-road adventures

The ultra-futuristic EV seems like an evolved Batmobile RC toy car transformed magically into the real-world scaled-up version. Thundertruck takes things to the next level with its roof-mounted bat wing solar awning which adds to the battery power reserve and acts as potent shade in extreme heat when parked for camping, fishing, or BBQing.

All automotive fanatics are waiting for the Cybertruck to finally roll out of the production lines and on the roads. While that has been pushed back to sometime in 2022, the next generation multi-utility truck with the performance of a sports car is still seeming like a distant dream. This is the perfect opportunity for an electric MUV to give the vision of the ultimate performance truck-wide wings. Thundertruck is the perfect example of that, as it is designed for individuals who preferer living and driving outside the proverbial lines!

Designed by Wolfgang IP, the sharp-looking multi-purpose EV takes on the current automotive design principles to bring superior on and off-road performance to the fore. According to them, Thundertruck is crafted for the outdoor enthusiasts and young crowd who don’t like living within the boundaries and following the herd. The extra edgy truck (so sharp even the Cybertruck seems blunt) is inspired by the Australian Outback and honed by state-of-the-art technology adapting to any terrain and adventure coming its way. It goes from 0-60 mph in just 3.5 seconds flat, boasting its high-performance electric motor capabilities. The advanced driver assistance systems ensure safety on dangerous trails as the scope of driving errors is always there.

The spacious cargo bed can be accessed via steps and extendable loading ramps enable loading of 2 or 4 wheel bikes. The integrated camping tent expands over the main tray, and it raises by PV trunk lid cover. There’s even a multi-purpose pull-out side draw storage unit with a slide-out kitchen or refrigerator. A matching drone flies off the roof of the vehicle to perform scouting or reiki to gauge the condition of roads ahead in unknown territory. What more can you ask from a swanky-looking MUV like this one?

Even better, the 180 kWh battery-equipped 4×4 (800 HP) can be converted into a 210 kWh battery-powered 6×6 (940 HP) multi-purpose EV monster honing a combined driving range of 560 miles and additional 2WD traction. Both the normal and 6×6 versions have massive ground clearance of 14.5 inches, an approach angle of 48 degrees, and a departure angle of 82 degrees. There’s no word yet when this truck in pure matte black will set the roads on fire, but if does anytime next year, Tesla will have a major headache on their hands!

Designer: Wolfgang

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DeLorean E mashes up past with the future as a cool eye candy electric vehicle

One glance at this DeLorean EV and I know the past is back, reshaping the future. The two-seater ride has a windshield that opens up completely to the back, giving access to the vehicle, and probably the only entry point to the inside cabin. Yes, it indeed has no gull-winged doors like the classic one!

The DeLorean Motor Company has had its set of controversies, and some even label it as a flawed icon. The first DMC DeLorean rolled out of the production lines in 1980 and just a year later the production was halted with only 9,000 cars seeing the light of day. Presently only around 6,500 DeLoreans are on the road and a clean one carries a value of around $35,000 – $45,000. The chunk of its popularity is attributed to the “Back to the Future” franchise which in itself is a cult favorite movie. There are speculations since long that the classic sports car will make a comeback, and all automotive fans are eagerly waiting for the modern avatar of a car that deserved more than it got!

This concept rendering by transportation designer Onkar H takes a dig at what a DeLorean of the future will be like. Of course, it has to be electric to stand a chance of longevity in the closely contested automotive market that’s going through a metamorphosis for an electric vehicle-dominated near future. An electric DeLorean E powered by 4 high-performance motors and a mid-mounted battery pack is what the passionate fans will take with both hands. After all, it kills two birds with one stone – owning a classic piece of history that doesn’t sound alienated in the EV landscape.

Rightly called the DeLorean E, the two-seater electric avatar of the iconic car is a mashup of the Cybertruck influenced color theme and the modernized edgy lines of the DeLorean. There’s an array of cool LED headlights on the front section and a matrix of taillights bringing in the EV vibe that I liked very much. The windshield is more panoramic now, extending to the roof minus the pillars for an airier feel inside. The hood gets a streamlined geometric pattern to go with the overall flowing character of the vehicle. Overall boxy styling and smooth silhouette of the original DeLorean have been preserved to maintain the nostalgic element. Onkar imagines the DeLorean E in metallic silver and cool blue color variants – I absolutely love that Gen-Z feels of it!

Designer: Onkar H

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Citroën My Ami Buggy Concept is a cute off-roading ready EV for adventure buddies




Citroën’s My Ami Buggy concept has adventure written all over it, ideal for hiking or camping trips to the deep woods with a cute friend. After all, it breaks the stereotype of big, brawny off-roaders with its friendly face!

Based on the all-electric Ami City car, the fresh new concept by Citroën gets a good installment of stylish and practical touches in the form of huge chunky off-road tires and a grille cover to mask those pretty eyes. The French brand owned by Stellantis elevates the original Ami EV to an intrepid and friendly backpacker personality with inspiration from construction games, industrial design, and the glamorous world of fashion.

The outdoor and leisure feel of My Ami is evident on the first look from the striking camouflage skin in khaki and black. Lack of the usual vehicle doors, which now instead have removable weatherproof transparent canvas doors with zippers is a tell-tale indicator of the buggy’s adventure lust. The rugged exterior having bull-bars, rock rails, auxiliary light bar, extended fenders flares, or the spare tire mounted on the roof; makes this four-wheeler capable of treading any terrain. The ground clearance though leaves a whole lot to be desired and could get the fix with aftermarket solutions.

Interiors also get the dash of off-roading styling in the form of Advanced Comfort seat cushions having almost double the padding compared to the standard Ami. There are removable storage bags and racks to stuff up the vehicle with all the essentials for an adventure trip. The dashboard has sizable storage bins to keep other stuff as well. Citroën kept in mind adding smartphone clamp, camera mount bottle holders and removable nomadic speakers keeping in mind the needs of geeky adventure lovers.

Unfortunately, there is no word whether this concept is likely to see the light of day in the future or any of the specifications to give us an idea of its performance. That said, the original Ami legal for 14-year-old (or older) drivers, goes at a tops speed of 28 mph and on a single charge goes 44 miles on its 5.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. It would be safe to assume Citroën will beef up the battery even more for the off-roading capability.

Designer: Citroën

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2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 Review

PROS:


  • Striking, fresh and modern design to launch Hyundai’s Ioniq EV era

  • Fastest DC charging among competition

  • New EGMP platform allows for clever reimagining of interior

CONS:


  • Highest 303 mile range only available on RWD models, AWD has 258

  • Digital smartphone key Android-only option for now

RATINGS:

AESTHETICS
ERGONOMICS
PERFORMANCE
VALUE FOR MONEY

EDITOR'S QUOTE:

There’s intrigue at first glance, and your eyes cannot help but linger, wanting more. There’s a lot to take in.

The 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the closest we’ve felt to driving an iPhone, in a good way. It brings modern, distinctive and sleek design, innovation, ease of use, and allure, things that Apple has so compellingly mastered. What’s immediately clear, this electric car was created with great ambition, with genuine intention, and not out of compliance.

The Ioniq 5 is built on Hyundai’s just-out-of-the-box all-electric platform—called EGMP, or Electric Global Modular Platform—and is the first of many pure-electric vehicles to come. Being built on a dedicated platform allows for reimagined thinking, from the outset.

The Design

There’s intrigue at first glance, and your eyes cannot help but linger, wanting more. There’s a lot to take in. Though classified as a compact crossover, this new electric car has a silhouette more akin to a hatchback, but a futuristic concept, not like anything we’ve seen on the road. Judging by the glances, attention, and chatty inquiries we received during our day with the Ioniq 5 around San Diego, California, the public may agree.

Up front, a clamshell hood allows for fewer panel gaps. An aero-spoiler on the roof helps direct airflow, and give the car a sporty aesthetic. The pixel-inspired signature lighting both front and rear, is unique and exceptionally eye-catching. This signature will be present on all of the automaker’s future electric, and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. 20-inch alloy wheels command presence, the wheel design looks like a 3D-matrix screensaver, completely wild and cool. They would be out of place on a more conventional looking car, but the Ioniq 5 pulls them off marvelously. Automatic door handles that lay flush, and power-folding mirrors aid in the modern, luxurious feel.

In a recent conversations with Hyundai’s global head of design, Sangyup Lee, the storied designer stressed the need to be bold, to take risks. While Lee brings a desirable pedigree of automotive experience, with especially notable stints at GM, and Bentley, he finds himself rethinking his approach.

“We’re in a transition phase in the industry, and the Ioniq Series is the start of our EV approach,” Lee tells me. Without the need for a combustion engine, transmission, and accompanying gear, spacial considerations are different, and Lee believes design will play an increasingly large role. “As I designer, I’ve never been challenged as much as I am now. And I have to question everything I’ve learned in the last 27 years. I see that as an obstacle.”

If the Ioniq 5 demonstrates anything, it’s that there is a considerably fresh approach. And that doesn’t end with the design. There’s true technological innovation at play here, as well. The 5 boasts an ultra-fast DC charging speed, going from 10 percent charge to 80 percent charge in only 18 minutes, no mainstream brand offers a faster charge, you’d have to go up to far pricier sports cars like the Porsche Taycan to have similar levels. There’s also a two-way charging port that allows you to charge appliances, or even another electric car in an emergency. Remote parking assist will allow you to get out of the car, and let it park or un-park itself, perfect for tight spaces. And Hyundai Digital Key allows you to use your smartphone or a key card in lieu of the key fob to lock/unlock your car. You can share your digital key with friends and family if they have an Android-supported device.

While the exterior wows with distinctive, fresh styling, it’s the interior that shows off some of the advantages this new dedicated EV platform. Ioniq 5 boasts a completely flat floor, thanks to the lack of a transmission, and some of the workings of a traditional combustion engine. An airy, light cabin with a single glass pane moonroof lets in all of that California sunshine, and automatic sunshade offers relief when called upon. There’s an exceptional amount of interior room—despite being a compact crossover, it boasts a longer wheelbase than the full-sized Hyundai Palisade SUV—helping immediately differentiate the Ioniq 5, and demonstrating what is possible with this new architecture.

The Interior

The rear seats can slide forward, or recline back, features more commonly found in larger minivans, or ultra-luxe sedans. 120-volt outlet in the rear allows you to plug-in your laptop, allowing for a mobile workspace, all the rage at present, given the state of the world. Not to be outdone, the front seats recline generously, and have leg rests to help you stretch out. The center console can easily slide backwards, a further piece of thoughtful, clever design.

Getting situated behind the wheel, push-button start summons the 12.3-inch digital cluster, and 12.3-inch media touchscreen to life. A stalk acts as your gear shifter, turning the dial to “D” gets you into drive. Having lived in San Diego, I’m familiar with the city, and take Hyundai’s new show-stopper along one of my favorite stretches of road. Heading from Solana beach, south to Del Mar, and onto La Jolla, the glistening Pacific Ocean stretches across on your right hand side. A few thousand miles away Hawaii sits idyll, the only land between us and the Japanese coast, and the wonders of Asia, including South Korea, beyond.

Driving Experience

One of the things that’s interesting about electric cars, is the availability of a blistering amount of power, and how engineers decide to tune that, with considerations of comfort, speed, and battery management. A few times, I press down on the accelerator pedal to varying degrees, to gauge how power is delivered. In all scenarios, there is a common thread: power comes on in a smooth, linear fashion. In one of these scenarios, as I’d later discover, there was a BMW M3 to my right, and quickly it was in my rear-view mirror. When I released off the accelerator, the deceleration immediately began, part of a clever regeneration scheme that both extends driving range, and also makes one pedal driving easy and effortless, with little need for the brake in many scenarios. The M3 quickly caught up and blasted past, and though I didn’t see it, I assume there was some confusion on the part of the driver. What was this stealth UFO on wheels from the future that they had never seen?

The driving experience and dynamics can vary a little as you can choose from rear-wheel, or all-wheel drive models, depending on your needs. An entry-level, RWD model with a single motor generates about 168 hp, while a longer-range option ups the ponies to 225 and 258 pound-feet of torque. The AWD employs an extra electric motor, and brings total output to 325 horsepower, and a generous 446 pound-feet of torque, essentially all the instantaneous power on tap you’d need. Rear-wheel drive models can get up to an EPA-rated 303 miles of range, while AWD models can go 258 miles on a full charge.

Final Thoughts and Pricing

Electric vehicles are not a turnkey solution, and there’s important work yet to be done. Considerations in how battery materials are mined and composed, a more sustainable and greener electric grid in markets where EVs operate, and eventually a true recycling solution will all need to be addressed. These are complicated challenges, but we’re also at the infancy of possibility. We’ve already seen impressive technological advancement in the development of this new era of transportation.

If consumers are truly going to be swayed to give up the familiar for something new, it will have to be exciting, enticing, and desirable. With its fresh, bold design, accessible price range, truly fast charging time, and brimming with allure, the 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5 loudly ushers in a new era in true style.

Starting prices range from about $41,000 for the entry-level model, up to $55,725 for a feature-rich Limited AWD Ioniq 5. U.S. buyers can receive a federal incentive of $7,500, additionally.

 

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This modular single-person car adapts to changing lifestyle, giving increased value to your vehicle

Over a lifetime our personality is molded depending on the lifestyle and the circumstances around us. But when we bring home a car, it stays virtually unchanged, barring some superficial modifications from the after-market accessories and tuning customizations. What if our four-wheeler could also have a dynamic persona that could morph in a jiffy depending on our needs? A vehicle that is ultra-modular at the core right at the time of purchase?

This is CMPN concept by Sungguk Park, who mustered up the compact single-person vehicle as a part of the BA Thesis project. For a debut project, the designer has done a phenomenal job of putting together a modular vehicle that’s compact, is ideal for solo city commuters and doesn’t stop you from exploring the outskirts for an adventure trip on the weekend. The electric car employs the modular structure on the exterior as well as interior to suit the user’s needs – much like your wardrobe where you have the option to go with the flow. The ability to replace and even recycle modules without much hassle is good for the longevity of use of the vehicle – thereby helping in staying abreast with the greater goal of a sustainable future.

According to Sungguk, mobility could be a companion in the process of change in a person’s life. Hence, CMPN is designed keeping in mind users’ changing tastes. Each module is made up of recyclable materials and is more than enough for single people to use every inch of the space efficiently. On the inside, there are no distinct lines between the cargo space and interior space which increases the flexibility of use. When needed the seat can be pushed back to make more space for extra luggage or daily objects. There are charging ports, a modular bookshelf, coffee holder and door pockets to keep all the essentials.

The EV can be controlled with mobile devices too and when in a parked position on the side of a beautiful beach, the steering wheel conceals in the dashboard which can then be used as a full-sized desk. Dashboard cabinets act as rails to install modules such as bookshelves or drawers. On the outside, the uniformity of design means more possibility of adding the desired modules to the front or back. For example, a skateboarder can configure the rear module to have MUV-like space for carrying skateboard, bags and other things. While a professional can have modules in place to make more use of the space on the interior while keeping the exterior minimal. Everything on the CMPN can be configured via the compatible app – something that the automotive future will cherish in a decade’s time!

Designer: Sungguk Park

 

 

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Sleek DAB Concept-E bike redefines urban mobility with Supermoto styling + lightweight aesthetics





An all-electric lightweight motorcycle crafted for the near future, perfectly tailored for the city rides, commute to work and everything in between. The focus here is on the pleasure of driving and a style statement that goes very well with the younger lot!

It goes without saying, electric mobility is the future and established brands, as well as budding automotive startups, are chasing the dream of creating commercially viable electric vehicles that are not short on power delivery. In the electric race is the DAB Concept-E electric motorcycle that creates a niche for itself owing to the off-beat design. This e-bike is created with assistance from Outercraft design studio headed by Pierrick Pichaureaux, who’ve managed to strike the right balance between design parity to display what’s important. The oblique lines create a flying back form while the horizontal lines bring in a sense of simplicity.

This is DAB Motors’ first electric bike to arrive on the electrified horizon, and instantly it impresses with the sleek silhouette balanced out with the Supermoto styling. The bodywork is done mostly in carbon fiber keeping the bike lightweight while the saddle is crafted with durable Ripstop material that’s usually used for making yacht sails. To keep all the wiring away from the naked eye, Outercraft has strategically designed the bike’s frame and swingarm in a way to house all the wires. Keeping up with the modern aesthetics, there’s an LED speedometer console on the front and a slim array of translucent LED headlights underneath a flat-track-inspired board.

Coming on to the more technical specifications, DAB Concept-E gets a 10 kW electric motor and a 51.8 V lithium-ion battery pack. The makers claim, the e-bike to reach a top speed of 105 kmph and a range of 110 km. Since the ride is tailored for urban spaces in the future, it gets the Gates belt drive having aluminum machined pulleys. We have to keep in mind, the motorcycle is still in the concept stage and how much of the design or mechanical components will make it through to the production model, still remains to be seen.

Designer: DAB Motors, Outercraft and Pierrick Pichaureaux

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Honda’s all-electric autonomous off-road vehicle is a construction hauler that carries weight of up to 400kg





It’s actually the electric cars that we are chasing after. But ultimately there is going to be a day when autonomous, energy-efficient vehicles will rule our roads. Before the future lands on the road, it is in testing at the Black & Veatch’s solar energy construction site in New Mexico. In question is the prototype of an Autonomous Work Vehicle from Honda, which has been hauling supplies around the abovementioned worksite with utmost precision.

Honda has successfully completed tests of its new prototype vehicle dubbed the Autonomous Work Vehicle (AWV). Designed to facilitate work at construction sites, in rescue operations, agriculture, or at mines where safety concerns would require having a vehicle to do the task without driver intervention. For autonomous movement and carrying out tasks with precision, this Honda autonomously driving mini truck features a LiDAR sensor, radar, GPS and stereoscopic cameras. Based on the Japanese automaker’s own all-electric side-by-side all-terrain vehicle platform, the AWV can also be operated using a remote over an app.

The AWV may appear like a mini truck, but the prototype vehicle has a unique design at the moment. It has a pickup-like bed with the back and its sides capable of being folded down for ease of loading and unloading the heavy equipment, constriction materials, etc. The predominantly white vehicle with a pair of round headlights on the front and a flashing blue light on the top can be easily seen from a distance. It has been tested to haul up to 400kg or tow a trailer with payload (total of 750kg including the trailer). Though we aren’t sure about the speed at which the Honda AWV drives itself, it can go up to 28 miles (48km) on a full charge, which takes approximately six hours to charge.

The prototype of the Honda AWV was tested along with Black & Veatch to tow and carry supplies from a location to a pre-set destination on the latter’s solar energy work site. The vehicles towed construction material, supplies and water to pre-set location on the worksite with on-point accuracy, which instills an interest in the Honda tech that intends to serve a range of industries with requirements for a capable off-road delivery/rescue vehicle. Honda is yet to point at a future plan for these Autonomous Work Vehicles, but there is no doubt that the prototype piques interest and we are excited for future trials and the vehicle eventually seeing the light of day.

Designer: Honda

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