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GM and Segway Develop Rickshaw Prototype

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posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 01:50 PM
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GM and Segway Develop Rickshaw Prototype


www.technologyreview.com

GM and Segway have teamed up to develop a new prototype vehicle as part of their efforts to "reinvent the automobile," the companies say, but it's not clear that their new vehicle will do better than the original Segway personal transport.

Unlike the original self-balancing two-wheeler, the new vehicle will be enclosed and designed to transport two people seated side by side, rather than one person standing up. It will also be equipped with GPS, wireless technology, and sensors, which could eventually allow an onboard computer to take over some driving tasks.

The vehicle is designed for the city dweller, particularly those who don't bother owning a car because of the twin frustrations of parking and traffic congestion. GM expects this market to grow as people continue to move from the country into cities, and these problems get worse. The vehicle won't be allowed on the highways, since it will be limited to a top speed of 35 miles per hour. It will also have a range of about 35 miles. It's supposed to cost one-fourth as much as a conventional car to operate. The companies haven't disclosed the price of the vehicle, but they do have a catchy name: PUMA, for Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility.

Of course, it's hard not to be skeptical. The original Segway transport was supposed to transform cities. Instead, many cities banned them, and it's been relegated to niche applications. It's given mall security guards a fun, and undoubtedly extremely useful, toy, for example. But will the redesign, and the added automation, make the PUMA more successful?

As with the first Segway, the question is, if you want a small vehicle that's easy to park, why not just buy a bike or a scooter? If you don't want to drive, and you live in the sort of city that this is targeted to, why not just take public transportation? Why risk a ride in an automated vehicle? The prototype, pictured in New York, looks pretty vulnerable next to the city's taxis.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 01:50 PM
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COOL!!!

I've always wanted a Segway but they are pricey... around $5,000.

The cops use them at the malls around here and there is one guy you see out periodically on his but that's it.

There is nothing in the article about the price so I am thinking around $10,000... the same as Paiggiao's 3 wheeled hybrid scooter that goes 80 and gets 140 miles per gallon.

www.technologyreview.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 02:10 PM
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I could never drive one of those, i'm atheist, and well, when i'm next to a 18 wheeler, I have no idea who I'd be praying to save me!

At 80mph, I would find it unbelievably hard to abruptly stop the vehicle, without a catostrophe put upon the person.

It is all in all A very neat idea, and may be a start of a new shift in automobiles.



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 02:10 PM
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CNN did a brief segment on this thing. The cost was reported to be roughly 1/3rd of a new car, so yea $10k sounds like a reasonable estimate. It has a top speed of 35mph. The thing that I can't get is that these are supposedly being developed for the road; the idea for these things to share the road with every other vehicle sounds pretty ridiculous to me! Rear-end collisions just went from annoying to deadlly! Say hello to GMs idea of future viability! God help us all.



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 02:13 PM
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reply to post by Republican08
 


No the 80 mph was for Paiggiao's 3 wheeled hybrid scooter... this thing from segway/GM would do 35 mph.



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 02:15 PM
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reply to post by grover
 


Sorry, I must've skimmed wrong, well then this is a pretty cool, vehicle, although my town the main road is 45, and everyone goes 50-60 anyways so I am not in the market for it, for sure.

Thanks again for the clarification.



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 02:33 PM
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I have chosen to never own a car or get addicted to gasoline and I would not be caught dead on one of those things.I would rather walk then be caught dead on those dumb looking things.
P.S. Screw GM and anything they make.



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 02:36 PM
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Interesting product. Unfortunately, GM has to get involved. Anyone remember Lee Iacocca's E-bike flop from his 1996 EV Global Motors venture. Probably not. It was a huge failure. The bikes were junk and he was trying to sell them predominantly through car dealerships and mail order. Most good bike shops didn't want to touch them. Sorry, But I prefer bike shops when I buy bicycles.

www.brandchannel.com...
nycewheels.com...

I think this product will be more successful without the help of GM. Segway is a recognizable enough brand to stand on its own merit.

I still prefer pedal power.

[edit on 7-4-2009 by jibeho]



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 02:42 PM
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And the thing still can't carry anything. Why does the Segway guy think that people don't need to carry any stuff with them? That sort of contraption makes sense if you live in the city- and you don't have any kids, and you don't need to shop for groceries...

I think the Smart car and its like are much more viable, realistic concepts. If they make a Smart car that can carry a baby seat- I'm all over it. I drive a Scion XB- which isn't much bigger than a Smart, and I've been very happy with it- it's a very space-efficient design. This fascination with huge, inefficient cars needs to end. Small, lightweight and efficient cars are the future.



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 03:04 PM
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reply to post by moonwilson
 


The Smart Car is a great product. Their booth at the Cleveland International Auto Show was packed. I didn't have the patience to wait in line just to sit in one.

Good point about the Segway's lack of hauling capacity. It just needs enough room for a satchel and a grocery sack. I've seen Rascal's that were better equipped for transport



posted on Apr, 7 2009 @ 03:55 PM
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reply to post by moonwilson
 


Actually you can get quite a few different saddle bag arrangements for the segway so that's not quite true... still they don't come with them.



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