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Four Jeep Engineers Win Chrysler Technology Award

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This year’s Walter P. Chrysler Technology Award goes to a group of four engineers whose hard work and innovation has inspired a breakthrough four-wheel-drive system. The Chrysler Technology Award was given to Don Schmanski, Mike Nemeth, Joe Kubina, and Pete Jarzyna, who now hold U.S. Patent No. 8172712.


According to a recent news release from Chrysler, U.S. Patent No. 8172712 covers the power transfer unit (PTU) and components utilized in the all-new Jeep Cherokee. The 2014 Jeep Cherokee features a brand-new patented four-wheel-drive system, which seamlessly and continuously monitors driving conditions and locks or unlocks the disconnect mechanism accordingly. The result is increased efficiency by limiting all-wheel-drive activation to only situations when the driver would most benefit from it.

“This PTU technology exemplifies true problem solving creativity that is a hallmark of Chrysler Group engineering,” said Ed Smith, Assistant General Counsel-Intellectual Property. “It mitigates the vehicle-efficiency penalty historically associated with on-demand 4WD without diminishing 4WD capability, a feature that is fundamental to the Jeep brand and critical to so many customers.  This invention allowed Chrysler to offer a 4WD package that achieves optimal functionality and efficiency.”

Jeep is known for their vehicles which can navigate nearly any terrain. The Walter P. Chrysler Technology Award encourages innovations and engineering feats that mean smoother, smarter more capable vehicles. Congratulations to this year’s winners!