One of the problems with the normal Segway is that it doesn’t really fit on the sidewalk and it’s not really appropriate for the street either. Wouldn’t it better if they produced a Segway where you could sit down and be reasonably caged in? Well, they’ve done it.
General Motors and Segway have teamed up on what they call the PUMA project. The prototype vehicle uses the same two-wheeled design of the Segway, but it’s much more vehicle-like. For starters, you sit down and steer it like how you would a car. Second, it’s got enough room to accommodate a passenger too, so it’s not just a solo transport vehicle.
PUMA, which stands for Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility, was officially unveiled and test-driven during the Today Show on NBC. Meredith Viera goes along for the ride in the people-mover, zipping along at up to 35 miles per hour. They claim that the lithium-ion battery will push this balanced two-wheeler along for up to 200 miles between charges.
The prototype weighs about 300 pounds, uses Segway’s unique two-wheel balancing technology, and gets pushed along with dual electric motors. According to GM vice president of research and development and strategic planning (that’s quite the title) Larry Burns, a road-ready version will be ready by January.
Here is the official Project P.U.M.A. video released by Segway. Looks interesting, though I’m afraid to ask how much it costs.