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What do you think of the Segway PUMA EV?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure how I feel about the Segway (meaning the one where you stand up and zip around on a two-wheeler thing). Mostly I think the security guards who use them are just lazy (although I gues i have seen a Segway moving pretty fast down the road). But anyway, it looks like Segway and GM have teamed up to come up with the PUMA (Personal Urban MObility & Accessibility) which is basically a little two wheel "vehicle" capable of getting 35 MPH with a 35 mile range. It's not fully enclosed, but it does have a sort of cover on the top. Anyway, it doesn't seem like it'd be too safe unless EVERYONE converted to driving one of these. But at least it's electric.


Here's an article from WIRED on it:



post #2 of 13


Originally Posted by Eli View Post. It's not fully enclosed...

I have seen at least 5 videos on these, one of which had several PUMAs, I think about 20 of them- 5 in a row parked, and the others running around  That video was a group of renderings with all of them fully enclosed.


That vehicle hit the "nerd" button in many in some of the comments (to the Wired article).  I would happily drive one- but not on hills.  The size is ideal for me; I dropped caring about that 'nerd' impression when I got the City-el!

post #3 of 13

I suppose they'd probably offer two different models, one with open sides and one enclosed.  Here's a video from Segway showing the PUMA with open sides rolling down the street:



And here's a sketch of a fully enclosed unit:

post #4 of 13

Eh I dunno, I guess it's kinda cool.  My moped can go a lot faster though, and also carry 2 people, and probably costs a ton less.  As with all Segways, it doesn't look to have a very mass market appeal to me.

post #5 of 13

Right Dana - other than in closed communities where the thing may be safe it looks to like DOA (dead on arrival).


Any scooter will cost far less and be proven transportation.


Years back the most secure job in the world was being a repairman for copy machines - they were so complicated and always on the Fritz. The Segway seems similar to me.  

post #6 of 13

This is exactly the sort of thing that pushes back the frontiers of electric transportation... Pushes it back another few years.


I'm not a fan of motorbikes as anything with two wheels is inherently unsafe but at least a motorbike (or my bicycle for that matter) have the wheels one in front of the other so it is possible to stop quickly and safely (most of the time).


This contraption has the audacious "innovation" of putting the two wheels side-by-side.  I don't care what clever electronics it's got on board... You're still gonna cart-wheel down the road like a hamster in a wheel if you emergency stop this thing or hit a brick / kerb / large pebble.


It's about par with those whacky contraptions with the engine inside a giant single wheel (the gears drove against teeth on the inside of the rim).  Fine when cruising along but if you tried to stop suddenly or accelerated too fast you would spin round inside the wheel (the phenomenon was actually called "hamstering").


No, I'm afraid this is not "the future of transport" but another set back for public acceptance of EVs.


It's very simple guys... Most people want something with four wheels (preferably at or near the corners of a small box-like structure) that holds 2-5 people in comfort with some luggage and goes reliably in a straight line and round corners and can go and stop quickly and safely. It should be able to go as far as the user requires with re-fueling easily available and quickly achieved. 


Most people don't give a hoot what powers the thing so long as it doesn't cost too much to buy and run and it meets all the stated requirements.


Edited by AccordGuy - 4/25/2009 at 10:34 pm GMT
post #7 of 13

You hit the nail on the head AccordGuy!


A great majority of the population want the traditional style transportation but affordable to operate and if it saves the world so much the better. 

post #8 of 13

I definitely agree with you guys here.  I think the PUMA is ultimately going to be relegated to the "gadget" sector.  When it comes to safety, it would probably only be safe if everyone was driving one.  And maybe not even then....because you'd still have hamburgers on the road.  They'd just be limited to 35 MPH.

post #9 of 13

Yeah - total gadget...  In 10 years they will have some flash-back issue of wacky ideas and this will be on the list.  I would not be able to get my wife to take a ride in this unless it was on a closed track - and I don't even want to talk about kids in these things (assuming a 2-seater)!  One mix up with a Yukon XL on the road and the market is toast... just like it's occupants would be.


...maybe if they make another Austin Powers movie Dr. Evil will have one of these to match his standup Segway!  LOL    WHU-HA WHU-HA WHU-HA HA HA HAAAAaaaaaaaa

post #10 of 13


Originally Posted by AccordGuy View Post

I'm not a fan of motorbikes as anything with two wheels is inherently unsafe \

 4/25/2009 at 10:34 pm GMT

I constantly got the "inherently unsafe" with my rear steer '92 trike!  but that opinion stuck throughout the years.  I am very interested in a 3 whhel car, but I can hear the future "inherently unsafe" commenteers loading up....  

post #11 of 13

3-wheelers like the Aptera and some other designs have some potential - if the market likes them.  Bottom line is they have to have a reasonable distribution chain, maintenance locations, and have customers that actually buy them... consistently - not just the enthusiastic few the first few months of availability.


...this Segway design, however, I just don't see having a mass market appeal.

post #12 of 13

That 3-wheeler is better than the Reliant Robins we had here in the UK.  Those had the single wheel at the front!


They were famous for the steering linkage on the front wheel breaking and the thing would crash. Sometimes they just would fall over when going too fast round corners under braking as the weight would transfer outside the triangular footprint and they'd just roll over.  They were quite cheap though and rust-proof as they were made from fiber-glass.


I presume the one in the photo has the two front wheels steering (although it could be quite fun if the rear one did the steering)


My Honda Prelude had active rear wheel steering and turned like a shopping trolley compared to a regular car.

post #13 of 13


Originally Posted by AccordGuy View Post

I presume the one in the photo has the two front wheels steering (although it could be quite fun if the rear one did the steering)


Of course not!  Behind the driver and behind the passenger are 2 enclosed gyroscopes, and instead of a rear wheel it has a large caster.  That way it puts both the Segway and the PUMA to shame...... turning radius is under 9 feet!  Now; about that bridge in the background.....


Actually; front wheel power steering, disc brakes power windows,locks, tilt/collapse, AC, more (no; I do not sell these)!

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