GERODISC™ is ASHA Corporation’s limited slip, hydro-mechanical coupling device. Its purpose is to send torque to the wheel or wheels of a vehicle that have the most traction, thereby eliminating wheel slip. The coupling functions between the left and right wheels of a RWD or FWD vehicle and, via a GERODISC™ in the transfer case, between the front axle and the rear axle of a four-wheel and/or AWD vehicle.
The technology is a very simple solution to a very complex automotive problem: distribution of tractive capacity. The device utilizes speed differential of the wheels to generate hydraulic pressure that activates mechanical wear plates, which transfer torque instantaneously, without driver input, in a continuously variable manner, as needed. It functions invisibly to the driver and provides major improvements in traction and handling characteristics.
The device replaces more expensive, complex, heavier systems and provides breakthrough performance in virtually all drive systems. It is estimated that the device can save OEM’s 55 pounds and $75 per vehicle over alternate systems, with even larger potential savings due to elimination of current FWD architecture. The device can function as a stand-alone traction control and stability device or be integrated with current and future electronic systems.
The technology has been licensed to several Tier One suppliers and is commercially available on the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee under the Chrysler name “Vari-Lok”™ in their “Quadra Drive II” ™ system. The vehicle won “4 x 4 Vehicle of the Year” and the system is Automobile Magazine’s Technology of the Year, now regarded as the benchmark in the four-wheel drive segment. GERODISC™ will be introduced on several vehicles under various names in the next few years, and is clearly “changing the rules of the game” in drivetrain technology.
The 1999 PACE award is given to ASHA for their strategic vision in applying technology in an innovative way, against the trend to increased electronic controls, to produce a device that significantly improves vehicle safety and handling.