GM & Segway Announce PUMA

Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility.

As ridiculous as it may have been, I know I’m not the only one wants a Segway Personal Transporter. But I can’t say I feel the same way about the company’s collaboration with General Motors; the Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility Project, or P.U.M.A. – because who doesn’t like a snappy acronym?

The project is aiming to develop a self-balancing, two-wheeled vehicle capable of carrying two passengers at 35mph – just shy of three times the 12mph top speed of the Segway – with a range of 35 miles powered by a lithium-ion battery.

The P.U.M.A. prototype can carry two passengers; an improvement on the original Segway. As a trade-off it looks notably more ridiculous and that’s saying something! With features such as autonomous driving and parking touted, though, looking a bit silly might be a worthwhile sacrifice.

A proposed vehicle-to-vehicle communication would enable P.U.M.A.s to relay information about traffic conditions, availability of parking spots and the like to the autonomous web. Great, just as long as the network doesn’t become self-aware; we have enough problems in control of our vehicles


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