CVT in my upcoming Prius

A while ago I shared some information on the benefits of turning off your car and not idling unnecessarily. One of my commentors, Ben Fulton, suggested I buy a car that does it for me automatically, and then some. A few other folks have been making Prius recommendations for some time now. So on Saturday I went and bought a 2007 Toyota Prius. I don't actually get the car for “4 to 6 weeks”, but I'm having fun researching more about the ins and outs of this cool car.

Of particular interest is Alex Hart's interactive flash animation and documentation of the inner workings of the Toyota's Power Split Device (PSD), a nifty gearset used to combine power from the electrical motors and the internal combusion engine. The PSD acts as a continuous variable transmission (CVT), which avoids the typical “rev-lurch-rev-lurch” of a traditional transmission. Alex's nice enough to post the source for his demo at the end of the page.

Jeremy Kusnetz takes that to the next level and wires up this flash to turn this into a live feed (1/400 scale) in the display of his Prius. He's got a quicktime movie of it's operation. It's a cool modification, but I do not endorse the camera angle this video was taken from (the drivers seat). I need to figure out what city Jeremy lives in so I can not walk around there at night time.