VRT was established in 2010 to commercialise proprietary technology developed by inventor Steve Durnin.
He became interested in toothgears and how gearsets work and began actively researching and investigating them as long ago as 1985.
In 2007 he made the technical breakthrough that defines d-Drive™ – the secret of using an epicyclic gearset (driven via the planet gear) to eliminate the need for a clutch and therefore to achieve powered neutral.
He then engaged engineering support to build a generic working concept model of d-Drive™.
VRT was later incorporated to act as a vehicle for capital raising and ongoing development. This was with a view to commercialisation of d-Drive™ in a range of practical applications.
An epicyclic gearset is an arrangement comprising a planetary gear, or more than one such gear, rotating around a central sun gear and typically mounted on a carrier arm or inside an outer ring gear.
Powered neutral refers to the state of a drive assembly with power source operating and transmission engaged but with zero output.
In April 2010, soon after VRT was incorporated, Steve Durnin demonstrated d-Drive™ on the ABC ‘New Inventors’ TV programme in Australia where it received favourable comment from the judges.
The resulting publicity gave d-Drive™ substantial exposure both within Australia and internationally. A large number of approaches and enquiries was received from companies across a range of sectors in Australia, Asia, Europe and North America. These companies include various specialist operators in niche segments as well as a small number of enterprise-scale businesses with an international presence.
We have recently scaled d-Drive™ up from a generic proof-of-concept device into a customised version for use in an on-road commercial vehicle . Click here to see the test vehicle running.
Our immediate focus is the automotive sector – partly out of opportunism (because of approaches received) and partly because we see on-road vehicles, with their constantly varying requirements for speed and torque according to driving conditions, as the most natural starting point.
Automotive applications are particularly suited to derive optimum benefit from d-Drive™‘s ability to deliver varying combinations of speed and torque to suit road conditions and driver preferences in real time. d-Drive™ can do this even moving off from stationary and even in the most demanding applications where very high torque is required.
The test vehicle has successfully completed dynamometer tests where, even under the maximum load, d-Drive™ performed smoothly while developing approximately 3,600 Nm of torque internally. This compares with other variable-speed transmissions which are typically in the range 250 Nm to 350 Nm in automotive implementations. The test vehicle, incorporating also our ‘torque boost’ technology (see the ‘Technology’ page), is now (July 2015) being prepared for extended on-road tests once it is certified for driving on public roads.
VRT is an unlisted public company incorporated and resident in Australia. As a public company it is subject to a legal audit requirement and files audited financial statements each year with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission for the public register.
All activity since incorporation has been undertaken with a view to commercialising d-Drive™.