Since I weighted some wagons and have decided on the layout of the batteries I can continue working on the rear batterybox. First I started prototyping some more using wooden panels.
Three modules on top of each other are 29 to 30 cm in height. Underneath the spare wheel lid I want to install a transparent (polycarbonate) cover which will be about 8 mm. It looks like it exactly fits while keeping the original long tow bar.
Using wood for a full wooden prototype turned out to be not very convenient so I ended up using steel. First I used 1,5mm panel to create new sides including a small edge for some stability.
Next I used some panels to shape the box and small welds. Towards the back the bottom goes up just like the tow bar does. There only two modules need to be stacked on top of each other.
Between the box and the tow bar there is 8mm free space. I do have 30 cm until the polycarbonate cover, so yes, it will fit.
Afterwards I took the box out. He isn’t completely symmetrical, but it is a start.
It was intended as a prototype but perhaps I can improve and finish it and use it as the outer skin. In that case it is just a matter of creating a frame that supports the weight of the modules.
Masterclass autonomous driving @ Volvo
Organised by KNAC I attended a Volvo masterclass about autonomous driving. Very interesting developments I want to know more about. In a setting with many brand new Volvo’s Arthur van Es (marketing director Volvo Nederland) informed us abut the vision of Volvo about “the future of driving”.
In 2020 he expects to have cars in the showroom that can drive autonomously on the highway. He mentioned an important statement of the Volvo CEO Håkan Samuelsson with regards to liability.
Volvo Cars responsible for the actions of its self-driving cars
Volvo Cars will accept full liability for the actions of its autonomous cars when in Autopilot mode, making it one of the first manufacturers to take this vital step forward in the development of self-driving cars.
In my view that shows how serious they are about autonomous driving and the stability of the technology. Arthur told us that for Volvo it’s always about people not the technology. This is completely in line with the statement of Volvo founders Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson in 1927.
That’s also why they are currently doing research with end-users in actual traffic situations in Sweden.
Fully autonomous driving from A to B will take a while since especially the first and the last part of a journey is difficult to automate. On the highway a lot is possible already. We could experience the “Pilot assist” ourselves.
It is a combination of adaptive cruise control and following the lane. You just set the speed and as soon as the car recognises the lines it tries to drive that speed if possible. The system sees surrounding traffic and automatically follows the road and takes turns. You just feel the steering wheel turning!
Quite impressive. After switching lanes, the car finds the new lines quite fast and automatically completes the lane change and follows it. I’be driven a beautiful S90.
There were quite some XC90’s on the parking lot as well, but personally I find those too big.
Some of them do have a plug however 😉
Checked out another wagon
Since I completed the restoration of the body for my conversion project I always keep my eyes open to opportunities. I found the following offer:
I have a body of a Volvo Amazon wagon: completely disassembled, sandblasted, welded, blasted again, zinc treated, 2K primer, sound proofing and the inside painted in midnight blue. Most of the parts already mounted again with brand new nuts and bolts. Wide wheels, in short: no better basis to build upon.
That sounded promising to I made an appointment to have a look.
Quality of the welding was not at the level I would want it, but a nice basis for sure. It had some smart modifications such as protecting the chassis beams in the engine bay from moisture getting on top of it. It appeared that the inner wings and wheel arches in the back were even original. Especially since the body was sandblasted twice and zinc treated it will (almost) never rust again. In the end however I decided to to buy it. Interested? You can find the ad on Volvo Classic Association forum (in Dutch).