D-Drive infinitely variable transmission system: Is it the future?

D-Drive Infinitely Variable Transmission Photo: Gizmag

If transmissions took a turn and became one of the most efficient components in our vehicles today, we would be getting a heck of a lot better mileage.  The technology remains somewhat archaic and is in the majority of vehicles today; either a geared transmission consisting of automatic, semi-automatic or manual, and the most recently innovative alternative: Continuously Variable Transmissions, or CVTs.

What they have in common is they are friction components, with clutches grabbing plates and spinning them, or belts and pulleys inevitably failing from typical wear and tear.

Gizmag took a look at the plastic prototype by Steve Durnin.  Steve plans to address all of the previous problems with transmissions, and send our vehicles into an infinitely variable future powered by his D-Drive system.  The video appears to educate viewers in a whimsical manner; whizzing through mechanical lingo at a fast paced explanation similar to a drug company’s list of adverse side effects at the end of a TV commercial.  All the while stating “its simple”.  It doesn’t look so simple to me, but im no mechanical engineer;  according to some commenters it could be compared to what Toyota has had running in the Prius for quite some time now.  A planetary gear or differential, which I would tend to agree with after seeing a Toyota Prius simulator.

The main questions are how will it handle torque and resistance?  Will it be able to translate enough power to move a vehicle, and efficiently?  Once Steve Durnin produces a live scale working prototype we will know the answer to that.  Until then, I remain skeptical, but confident, that if possible this could change every bit of machinery operating with a motor out there.


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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic article post.Thanks Again. Awesome.

  2. Justin says:

    FYI… planetary gear drives are older that the Prius. The original Ford Model T (1908) used a planetary system with clutch bands to control. These bands were controlled by 3 pedals by the driver.

  3. Mechanic says:

    The Power Split Device (the planetary gearset differential system) isn’t only used in the Prius. It is also used in other Toyota and Lexus hybrids.

    The Lexus LS600h hybrid with its 438hp gasoline engine uses three PSDs in its transmission.

    The PSD system is certainly capable of handling higher torque and power outputs.

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