Segway and General Motors – are we paying for this thing? Update – Video, Wolf says “No Thanks.”

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.

thumbnail-segway-pumaThe 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.


6 replies
  1. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    I can just see one of these things getting stuck in my fenderwell while driving along.

    How well will they work in the snow?  Is A/C an option? 

    They would be useless at the drive-in, if there were drive-ins anymore (I think there is still one in New Hartford, kids!).

    If you hit a deer, can the deer walk away?  Squirrels?

    Can it outrun wilding teens in Central Park?

    Will it be allowed on bike paths?

    Can children drive them (reminds me of the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Car, and is considerably cheaper, with Fred Flinstone drive!)?

    Will they get to pay one quarter fare for parking places?

    The mind boggles.

  2. voicer
    voicer says:

    This is the best they can come up with? What a stupid idea, and so typical of the idiot management at GM (Government Motors). There is absolutely no logical or practical thinking here, and something like this could only have come from the mind of a designer dreaming of his egalitarian Utopia. First Wagoner holds onto the SUV model for six years too long and now the pendulum swings in the opposite direction and we get the PUMA!


    When asked how this vehicle would be used, because it’s too large and fast for the city sidewalks, and too small and slow for the main roads, a GM chief of propaganda said that cities could create “special lanes” for this motorized rickshaw. I suppose the Obama administration could now force cities to take billions of dollars to create these ‘special lanes’ so city ‘folks’ can buy Obama’s rickshaw? Is this the next step from our central planners in the great United Socialist States of America?

  3. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    If you ever get to see the movie "Brazil," directed by Terry Gilliam, look at the car the hero is driving on the highway (a 1955 – 64 Messerschmitt, if I recall correctly; the rest of the movie looks like a preview of Obamaworld too!).  

    The Germans had this idea beat almost 50 years ago!  Frankly, I would rather have the "schmitt!

  4. TomTGRWolcott
    TomTGRWolcott says:

    You know, the Democrats have to love this, the Environmentalist have to love this thing.  Think about it.  I do not what the percentages are, but I drive the roads of my town and most people are driving SUV's and crossover "type" vehicles.  Yea there is one Smart Car that drives by the house from time to time, and a few what I can regular sedans.  But come on, how is one suppose to just regular grocery shopping with this thing?

    Okay so it goes 35mph, I personally would not be caught dead driving this Bubble Electric Car even on a side street…can you imagine seeing a 18 wheeler truck in the review mirror coming at you in one of these things?

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