Wednesday, April 08, 2009
GM Segway electric two-wheel vehicle
It may just be a coincidence, or a sign of desperation, but news reports indicate that GM and Segway have tested a two-wheel prototype electric vehicle the P.U.M.A. (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility). This looks like it is adapted from the Segway RMP (Robotic Mobility Platform) version of the two wheel personal transporter. This platform has the Segway mechanics and electronics, but has the handlebars replaced with a flat top for carrying a load. It appears seats and a light cover have been added. Also apparent in the media photos, but not on the Segway web site, are four small wheels to stand the vehicle when the motor is off. This looks very much a "wired magazine" publicity stunt not a serious project. Such a vehicle has so many problems and is not going to secure GM's future. There are many better ways to build an electric vehicle and uses for this technology are limtied to applications such as carrying parcels.