Simpler Automatic Transmission Technology with Spheres

Nuvinci plans to replace complex conventional CPV technology.

Nuvinci is a continuously variable planetary transmission (CVP) technology from Fallbrook Technologies.  It is the most interesting and innovative automatic transmission design I have seen in years.

Nuvinci is radically different from conventional CVP designs. The transmission system uses a set of rotating balls between the input and output discs. Tilting the balls changes their contact diameters and varies the speed ratio.

You can watch the video below about how the Nuvinci transmission systems work.

This spherical technology could be revolutionary in its simplification and lightening of automatic transmission technology – if it can attain an 8:1 gear ratio, with overdrive and underdrive possible in the same unit.

Nuvinci transmissions may sound the death knell of the manual transmission automobile.

Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. and Dana Holding Corp. licensed the design in 2012. Through this agreement, Allison gains exclusive rights from Fallbrook to utilize its CVP technology for commercial vehicles, military applications and certain off-highway and large stationary equipment markets.

Under a separate agreement, Dana Holdings has an exclusive license from Fallbrook Technologies for passenger and off-highway vehicles within their end-markets.

Full-scale production of off-highway transmissions with NuVinci-equipped components are expected in the next three to five years in those markets served by Dana. Implementation in passenger and commercial vehicles is anticipated before the end of this decade.

To learn more about Nuvinci, visit

Written by

James Anderton

Jim Anderton is the Director of Content for Mr. Anderton was formerly editor of Canadian Metalworking Magazine and has contributed to a wide range of print and on-line publications, including Design Engineering, Canadian Plastics, Service Station and Garage Management, Autovision, and the National Post. He also brings prior industry experience in quality and part design for a Tier One automotive supplier.