While the environmental damages caused by gas-powered cars is well publicized at this point, there is another type of gas-powered vehicle that causes a surprising amount of harm to our planet but gets much less attention: lawn mowers.
That’s why Honda has just unveiled its first-ever all-electric riding lawn mower. And the kicker is that it is also self-driving.
The new prototype, which is being called the Honda Autonomous Work Mower (AWM), can be driven manually or create its own mowing route using a global navigation satellite system. Honda says it can even direct itself over hills and rough terrain using a two-motor traction control system.
The amount of pollution caused by gas-powered lawn equipment is surprisingly high. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, gasoline-powered equipment such as lawn mowers and leaf blowers produce around 242 million tons of pollutants annually, an amount equal to that of cars and houses.
Electric lawn mowers on the market include the much smaller (and, presumably, cheaper) Ryobi, which starts at $199. The AWM does not yet have a price tag.
Lawn care giant John Deere is also partnering with a supplier of battery-powered lawn equipment in an effort to make its products more environmentally friendly.
Electrek’s commenters were eager to hear more about the AWM’s power specs, charging time, battery, and of course, price. None of those details have yet been released.
“Certainly looks interesting but there’s a lot of open questions in terms of using this commercially. One big one is certainly charging time and capacity,” wrote one commenter. “In practice I would like to see the mower be sophisticated enough that you can drive into a housing development and have it initiate two or three houses from the same drop off. The human operator can go to the first location and open gates, begin edging, etc. while the mower comes in and does the bulk of the yard.”
“No idea how much it costs, but I can see a benefit to large landscapers… a human edges while this thing mows. In addition large sports fields. Set and go. For yards, there are the inexpensive robot mowers… this is for large commercial stuff, where the little guy (or a team of them) would take too long,” wrote another.
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