General Motors – a.k.a. Government Motors – will be teaming with Segway Inc. to produce a self-balancing vehicle that can seat two adults and move through city streets at 35 miles per hour. It is based on the original stand-up Segway.
The Segway is a pretty cool thing that police departments and mail carriers have used to move an individual from point A to point B. By no means did Dean Kamen’s invention become anything more than a cool toy.
The new Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility (PUMA) vehicle – and I use the term vehicle loosely – can’t be any smaller, does not seem to have doors, bumpers, air bags or anything other than a seat belt for protection. This thing – and its occupants – could be killed on impact with a plastic newspaper vending machine. Click on the image to see a the article and a bigger picture of a prototype. This has very little similarities when compared with motorised chairs, and when you check it out here, you’d know what is being expounded.
Have you noticed that almost all of the purchases of the Segway have been by government entities? Well since the government now owns a good chunk of GM, I guess that our money is being used to design this death trap. (It’s a death trap if you’re stupid enough to ride in it on city streets)
The struggling auto maker, surviving on a government lifeline, is looking to generate enthusiasm for its increasingly uncertain future ahead of the New York auto show this week.
GM has slashed product-development programs, advertising and spending on auto-show events. But it will take to the streets of Manhattan on Tuesday to show off a prototype of the vehicle, called PUMA, for Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility.
The Segway Personal Transporter was launched with considerable hype eight years ago but practical issues prevented the scooter from becoming a mass-market product, including its relatively high cost and restrictions on its use in many jurisdictions.
GM is betting PUMA’s more car-like traits — an enclosed compartment and top speed of 35 miles per hour — will lead to better results. GM didn’t say how much the machines would cost, but research chief Larry Burns said owners would spend one-third to one-fourth of the cost of a traditional vehicle.
Update (Jim): CNN’s Wolf Blitzer says no thanks. I do not wish to muck up Steve’s fantastic post but I thought you might like to see this downright silly, no market, government promoted, peddle pushing, carbon footprint hoaxing, GM product. And if this is the way they have been spending their research and development money … it’s no wonder they are bankrupt. Umm financially and otherwise.
And make sure you listen to what Wolf says at the end. I love the “liberal elite”. Don’t think they’ll be driving one of these things.