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GM/Segway’s PUMA Vehicle

Sunday April 12, 2009

Last week saw GM/Segway unveil their PUMA (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility) Project, a self balancing two-wheeled vehicle capable of reaching speeds of 35 mph for 35 miles.

I’m a gadget geek so I think this vehicle is pretty cool and the videos of it shows that it’s a great gadget!  (mmm, love gadgets!)   However, I was reading on the Practical Cyclist blog some interesting comments in response to the PUMA and their introductory blurb:

“Imagine moving about cities in a vehicle fashioned to your taste, that’s fun to drive and ride in, that safely takes you where you want to go, and “connects” you to friends and family, while using clean, renewable energy, producing zero vehicle tailpipe emissions, and without the stress of traffic jams,” said Burns. “And imagine doing this for one-fourth to one-third the cost of what you pay to own and operate today’s automobile. This is what Project P.U.M.A. (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility) is capable of delivering.”

Yes. Imagine that. Let’s imagine this as a series of bullet points, shall we?…  [Robert Anderson – A Practical Cyclist – click link to read more]

Robert makes some good points – read them over on his blog.

But thinking more about this car/vehicle/buggy/golf cart, I think that it could have a place on our streets.  Not everyone has the ability to cycle and there are times when a bike won’t do, so the PUMA could step in and help.

One thing I struggle with on my bikes are larger/bulkier objects and then a car is needed.  Unless… I could buy  a bike trailer…  hmm… interesting.

Link: PUMA on Autoblog (image above is from Autoblog)
Link: PUMA on Engadget

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One comment

  1. Xtracycle solves bulk problems.

    I think there’s another issue – safety and/or the illusions/perceptions thereof. If people start tootling around in those puny things… either they’ll have lots of casualties (especially if they run into cars while texting ) or they’ll up their tolerance for being vulnerable in traffic.
    Hmmm… if they caught on, I could imagine roads where those big dangerous cars weren’t allowed… only segways and bicycles…



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