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Segway, GM Partner On Two-Wheeled Electric Car

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the keeping-it-in-balance dept.

Transportation 394

Slartibartfast was one of many readers sending in news of GM's partnership with Segway to develop a two-seater urban electric vehicle. It's called the Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility, or "PUMA." This is just a prototype, so don't get your credit card out yet. Its total cost of ownership could be about 1/4 that of a traditional car, GM says. The prototype runs for 35 miles, at a top speed of 35 mph, on lithium-ion batteries. It features the now-familiar Segway balancing technology, though fore-and-aft training wheels are visible on the prototype. Some commentators have likened it to a high-tech rickshaw, others to a golf cart. Engadget describes how the ride feels.

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Yeah, but what's the point? (4, Insightful)

kkrajewski (1459331) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494483)

Add a third wheel and suddenly now you don't need thousands of dollars of gyroscopes and such.

Re:Yeah, but what's the point? (1)

sarahbau (692647) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494505)

Exactly my thoughts. A 3 wheel design would also use less energy since it wouldn't have to use motors to keep it balanced.

Re:Yeah, but what's the point? (1)

rdavidson3 (844790) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494593)

Does anyone know how much energy is lost turning the extra wheel + friction?
And does that amount of energy gained greater than the amount to drive the gyros and electronics?
How do you park the thing?
And trying to pick up 300 lbs of car is not going to be fun (trying picking up a dumped motorcycle).

Re:Yeah, but what's the point? (4, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494961)

Ideally, none. In a perfect world, the reduction on friction on the other two wheels equals the increase in friction from the third. Now, in practice, things don't work out quite that way (for example, the heating profiles change, which changes the coefficient of friction), and the third wheel also adds some weight (although they're losing the weight of the balancing hardware).

Re:Yeah, but what's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27495061)

If you watch the video it has 2 more pairs of tiny wheels for parking and whatnot.

Re:Yeah, but what's the point? (4, Insightful)

grodzix (1235802) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495009)

But with 3rd wheel it loses it's cool factor (and then no one for sure will buy it).

Re:Yeah, but what's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494553)

Apparently you don't remember the three-wheeled off-road vehicles no one sells anymore. They were unsafe. Now all ATVs are four wheeled.

Re:Yeah, but what's the point? (5, Funny)

kkrajewski (1459331) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494577)

Oh, well, it's a good thing they got rid of that third wheel for this one, then. For safety.

Re:Yeah, but what's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494741)

Well, yes, the three wheelers would roll forward into where two front tires are normally located. The user would roll with it and become crushed by the vehicle.

This segway/gm vehicle has 6 wheels, but only two are needed for normal movement. With the safety wheels the vehicle cannot easily roll, and if it did, it has a roll cage to protect the users too.

I'm also thinking that if this vehicle were as fast as the three wheelers could get, it would be a lot more dangerous.

Far safer, and only two wheels on the ground during normal operation. Win.

Price could suck though.

Re:Yeah, but what's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494757)

They were unsafe because the third wheel was at the front instead of the back [brp.com] .

Re:Yeah, but what's the point? (4, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494993)

Apparently where you come from, the position of the wheels and the location of the center of gravity is irrelevant, and all that matters is wheel count.

Meanwhile, back in the real world [autospeed.com] ....

Re:Yeah, but what's the point? (1, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495177)

They were unsafe.

Unless the third wheel was in the back.

These US car companies are simply a relic from an earlier age. It has nothing at all to do with the UAW contracts, either. Labor costs for Toyota and Honda in the US are not so much lower than for GM or Ford that it should make a difference. [I'm not going to waste time trying to make a case for labor unions here, because if you don't easily see how important they are to us, then you're too stupid for me to talk to.] Then next time I hear someone say that union workers in the GM plant are "making $80/hr" I may just put my size 11 union-made shoe up their ass.

I came back from a trip to Rome and Milan in March, and when you see the level of technology and good design that is available on the road in Europe, you realize just how badly run American car companies are and have been. And the companies making these cars are manned with strong unions who have rich contracts that American workers can only dream about. Yet, they're able to make money. Shit, Germany is probably the most pro-labor union workforce in the World, but they export three times more goods than CHINA.

Let's be honest: The US car companies don't make big, inefficient cars because that's what Americans want. Rather, Americans want big, inefficient cars because that's what they are sold. SOLD, as in "sold on" by layers and layers or marketing by companies that profit from selling shit to idiots. From the oil companies on down to the parts manufacturers, it's an industry that's based on waste. Expensive waste that costs lots of money.

Oh, one more thing: All the pants-wetting that's going on from "conservatives" about those horrible, fascistic/socialistic CAFE standards that are "just killing" the car companies. It's a complete load of bullshit. The standards have changed at a glacially slow pace and are fundamentally the same that they were in 2005, which was a year of record-breaking profits for the car companies. Standards that are weaker by far than in many places in the world where car companies are making a profit.

You know what? I just realized that about 30-some percent of our country (the ones that listen to Fox News, Talk Radio, and are running around at these "tea-bagging" parties lately) are simply too stupid to try to engage. The best we can hope for is that we'll be able to ignore them and try to get things going in this country again without them. Let them have their teabagging parties and perpetrate killing sprees on each other because they think "Obama's gonna take our guns!" ("the took our jobs!" in south park parlance).

I'm ready to buy the first American car that is even close to a foreign car in terms of safety, efficiency and value. My daughter just turned 21, so I'll buy her one too just to help the economy. But a Chevy Cobalt, Ford Focus or Dodge "Caliber" ? No friggn' way. Who do they think is their target customer anyway, with the "Magnum" and "Caliber"? Are they gonna put out a "Dum-Dum" and a "Cop Killer" too?

Re:Yeah, but what's the point? (2, Interesting)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494661)

Or add two more wheels, a couple more seats, a larger engine, and enclose it so you're better protected at higher speeds...

Obviously this is just GM wasting more (of my) money. A cell phone acting as the dashboard? Some proprietary wireless communication between pumas? Destined to fail.

Maddox sucks and so do you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494673)

Hurf durf. Stealing material from an ancient Maddox rant is teh funnay amirite?!?!

Re:Yeah, but what's the point? (3, Insightful)

myxiplx (906307) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494795)

Yup, and I'd love to see how it manages an emergency stop!

A far better design would be two electric drive wheels at the front and a simple free steering wheel at the back. You've got all the advantages of this when it comes to size & simplicity (no complex steering rack), but you then don't need all that complex balancing software, it's more stable both at rest and in motion, it uses less power, and has far better emergency brakes.

Oh, and it doesn't fall on its arse when the battery runs flat.

Re:Yeah, but what's the point? (2, Informative)

memorycardfull (1187485) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495107)

Your concept sounds like a Dymaxion car.

Re:Yeah, but what's the point? (2, Insightful)

memorycardfull (1187485) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495019)

You don't need gyros OR a third wheel to keep a two-wheeled scooter upright.

This is such a dumb idea (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495109)

That I can only assume the ultimate plan is to use it as a base for a robot.

 

Re:Yeah, but what's the point? (4, Insightful)

ElizabethGreene (1185405) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495137)

I could be mistaken, but haven't we had 2 wheeled urban transports for > 180 years? Link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle [wikipedia.org]

My Dad Had a 2 wheeled car (5, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494495)

Built by a company called Yamaha.

Re:My Dad Had a 2 wheeled car (2, Informative)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494685)

Actually, the Honda Gold Wing [honda.com] comes pretty close to being a car on two wheels. Of course, the S2000 is really a motorcycle on four wheels...

Is it safe? (3, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494509)

I mean, let's say a bus is coming towards you. If you're in this thing, you're toast. But if you just WALK, you can always jump out of the way.

Re:Is it safe? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494715)

Hey man, I heard you like segways, so I built you this new segway that's got segway tech inside of it.

Re:Is it safe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494803)

...so you can ride while you ride?

Re:Is it safe? (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494775)

They actually want to use "collision avoidance". Vehicles would be outfitted electronically to "exchange speed, direction and position data, then one of them could make a decision to brake in an emergency situation to avoid an accident". In principle this is a great concept, but given that most vehicles don't have this yet, that's not something you can solely rely on for the time being.

Re:Is it safe? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494979)

A malicious hacker would have a field day with such a system. Causing computers to fail is one thing, but causing massive traffic jams takes hacking to a whole new level.

Re:Is it safe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494983)

If you're walking 35 miles @ 35mph,sure, that's a viable alternative.

Apples? Oranges?

Re:Is it safe? (4, Insightful)

Quothz (683368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495193)

I mean, let's say a bus is coming towards you. If you're in this thing, you're toast. But if you just WALK, you can always jump out of the way.

I suspect GM may include some sort of control for controlling the direction of movement. If so, you could, y'know, turn. I doubt it'll be any less safe than bicycles and motorcycles in that regard.

Walking is an excellent option and I do so whenever possible. However, it's tricky to walk at 35mph; I never got the knack.

Something like this looks like it'd be an okay option for someone who needs to travel a fair bit within a city metro area. I'm strictly meh on it from what's said in TFA, but I don't think your specific criticism is particularly valid.

Another take on it (1)

rdavidson3 (844790) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494515)

A canadian website has a slightly different take on it.
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=1473014 [nationalpost.com]

Re:Another take on it (1)

HanzoSpam (713251) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494611)

So did Moonbattery. [moonbattery.com]

Billions of dollars in bailout money for this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494519)

Come on now...

Boy this has politics written all over it... (2, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494521)

"Hey GM, if you want to get another gov't loan, you have to do this partnership with Segway..."

Will create the perfect urban vehicle that sells as much as the original Segway does.

Why not just have GM resell these... Maybe bring the Oldsmobile name back just for them...

Oldsmobile Golf Cart! [globaltrailer.net]

35 miles, at a top speed of 35 mph (3, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494523)

I'm bad at math, but isn't that just one hour of drive time?

Re:35 miles, at a top speed of 35 mph (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494617)

You forgot to allow for the relativistic effects.

Re:35 miles, at a top speed of 35 mph (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494659)

When I read various articles on this (and submitted my own story), what it should read is:

It can reach a top speed of 35 miles an hour or go for 35 miles on one charge.

It does not mean it can go at its top speed for 35 miles. Only that it can reach that speed but the charge won't last 35 miles at that speed.

At least that's how I took it after reading and re-reading the blurbs.

Re:35 miles, at a top speed of 35 mph (5, Funny)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494753)

I'm bad at math...

So is the management at GM.

Re:35 miles, at a top speed of 35 mph (1)

BobZee1 (1065450) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494903)

one of the best comments on /. in a really long time. excellent. of course, my nose is burning now from the coffee expulsion...

Re:35 miles, at a top speed of 35 mph (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494933)

If the commute is anything like Austin, you won't get above 26mph anyways.

Re:35 miles, at a top speed of 35 mph (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495069)

Nah, in 18 month's it's 30 minutes. Gotta love lithium ion bomb, eh, battery technology.

No mention of any price either; one article mentions it'd cost 1/2 to 1/4 of an ordinary car in city driving, but I'd bet that neither includes capital cost or battery replacement cost.

Companies like Tata are so going to eat GM's lunch.

And really. I'd rather buy a Nano.

Prior Art (1)

Akido37 (1473009) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494537)

It's called a motorcycle.

That's just sick (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494539)

The idiots are facing bankruptcy, living off taxpayer bailouts and here they are toying with one of the century's worst failures in venture capital backed technology.

Re:That's just sick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494811)

I wouldn't be surprised if they have been developing this ever since the Segway launched in 2002.

PUMA? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494541)

I think it looks more like a Warthog.

Re:PUMA? (1)

ILikeRed (141848) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494599)

I can't help but notice it looks a lot like this guy's ride [cnn.com] . If they could work out immunity from DWI than I suspect they could probably sell quite a few of them.

Re:PUMA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27495115)

I think it looks more like a Warthog.

Hey, coward, Chupathingy, how 'bout that?

Candiate for stupidest idea? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494549)

I can't imagine a more useless device. Is there some sort of "stupid ideas" award?

Wikipedia admins are fucking bastards (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494551)

Nawlinwiki, Bongwarrrior, J.delanoy, Raul654 and all the other 1600 admins are fucking losers. Admit that you all suffer from some form of OCD or autism and that you should all have your penises stung with over 9000 wasps. I hope your balls get stuck in a cheese grater.

if you are reading this post while using linux, please throw your computer out the window and buy a Windows one.

PUMA? (3, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494559)

Why name it after some mythical creature when it clearly looks more like a warthog?

Re:PUMA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494643)

You're thinking of the wrong PUMA.

Puma [urbandictionary.com]

Re:PUMA? (2, Insightful)

sarahbau (692647) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494653)

Maybe this is some joke that went over my head, but since when are pumas mythical?

Re:PUMA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494707)

Pretty sure it's a Red vs. Blue reference. (don't watch it, so I'm not positive)

Re:PUMA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494733)

It's a joke from Red Vs. Blue.

Re:PUMA? (2, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494751)

Red vs. Blue [myspace.com]

Re:PUMA? (5, Funny)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494823)

Red vs Blue - Season 1 Episode 2 - Red Gets a Delivery [roostertooths.com]

Sarge: Hurry up ladies, this ain't no ice cream social!

Simmons: Ice cream social?

Sarge: Stop the pillow-talk you two. Anyone want to guess, why I gathered you here, today?

Grif: Um, is it because the war's over and you're sending us home?

Sarge: That's exactly it, private. War's over. We won. Turns out you're the big hero, and we're gonna hold a parade in your honor. I get to drive the float, and Simmons here, is in charge of confetti!

Grif: I'm no stranger to sarcasm, sir.

Sarge: God dammit private, shut your mouth or else I'll have Simmons slit your throat while you're asleep!

Simmons: Oh, I'd do it too.

Sarge: I know you would Simmons... good man. Couple of things today, ladies: Command has seen fit to increase our ranks here at Blood Gulch Outpost Number 1.

Grif: Crap, we're getting a rookie.

Sarge: That's right dead man. Our new recruit will be here within the week. But today, we received the first part of our shipment from Command. Lopez... bring up the vehicle.

A jeep emerges from the hill behind Sarge

Simmons: Shotgun!

Grif: Shotgun! Fuck!

Sarge: May I introduce, our new light reconnaissance vehicle. It has four inch armor plating, maaag buffer suspension, a mounted machine gunner position, and total seating for three. Gentlemen, this is the M12-LRV! I like to call it the Warthog.

Simmons: Why 'Warthog' sir?

Sarge: Because M12-LRV is too hard to say in conversation, son.

Grif: No, but... why 'Warthog'? I mean, it doesn't really look like a pig...

Sarge: Say that again?

Grif: I think it looks more like a puma.

Sarge: What in sam hell is a puma?

Simmons: Uh... you mean like the shoe company?

Grif: No, like a puma. It's a big cat. Like a lion.

Sarge: You're making that up.

Grif: I'm telling you, it's a real animal!

Sarge: Simmons, I want you to poison Grif's next meal.

Simmons: Yes sir!

Sarge: Look, see these two tow hooks? They look like tusks. And what kind of animal has tusks?

Grif: A walrus.

Sarge: Didn't I just tell you to stop making up animals?

Church is looking at the red team through the sniper rifle, and Tucker is with him

Tucker: What is that thing?

Church: I don't know, but it looks like uh... looks like they got some kinda car down there. We'd better get back to base and report it.

Tucker: A car? How come they get a car?

Church: What are you complaining about man? We're about to get a tank in the very next drop.

Tucker: You can't pick up chicks in a tank.

Church: Oh, you know what, you could bitch about anything, couldn't you. We're gonna get a tank, and you're worried about chicks. What chicks are we gonna pick up man!? Firay, and secondly, how are we gonna pick up chicks in a car that looks like that?

Tucker: Well what kind of car is it?

Church: I don't know, I've never seen a car that looks like that before, it looks like a uh... like a big cat of some kind.

Tucker: ... ... what, like a puma?

Church: Yeah man, there ya go.

Back to the reds

Sarge: So unless anybody else has any more mythical creatures to suggest as a name for the new vehicle, we're gonna stick with 'the Warthog'. How about it Grif?

Grif: No sir, no more suggestions.

Sarge: Are you sure? How 'bout Bigfoot?

Grif: That's okay.

Sarge: Unicorn?

Grif: No really, I'm... I'm cool.

Sarge: Sasquatch?

Simmons: Leprechaun?

Grif: Hey, he doesn't need any help man...

Sarge: Phoenix!

Grif: Huh... Christ.

Sarge: Hey Simmons, what's the name of that Mexican lizard, eats all the goats?

Simmons: Uh, that would be the Chupacabra, sir!

Sarge: Hey Grif! Chupathingie, how 'bout that? I like it! Got a ring to it...

Re:PUMA? (1)

theelectron (973857) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494713)

Puma? You mean like the shoe company?

Re:PUMA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494799)

I'm glad some people made the reference.

PUMA? (4, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494569)

PUMA? Portable Urban Mobility and Accessibility?

Is that the best they could come up with?

If a transport product is going to be called PUMA, it should at the very least allow me to stalk prey from tree branches, rocky outcroppings, or tall grass, silently leaping with claws outstretched, to hamstring them and then choke them with my jaws, so I can drag them back to my lair and devour their tender innards at ease.

I think this product should be called COUGAR, for Compensatory Object for Urban Guys Against Railtransit.

Re:PUMA? (2, Funny)

clam666 (1178429) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494861)

If it was called COUGAR, it would just start randomly bumping into all the brand new cars on the road.

YES, it's clever.

Ride a motorcycle? (5, Insightful)

cornercuttin (1199799) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494575)

You can get better mileage out of a small CC motorcycle engine, go faster, and not look as much like an idiot.

I know a motorcycle is still gas, but a battery will be using up other energy somehow, and if you live in Oklahoma like I do, it's just coming from coal or oil.

better yet, just get a horse.

Re:Ride a motorcycle? (4, Informative)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494743)

if you live in Oklahoma like I do, it's just coming from coal or oil

And as has been shown many, many times before, the net impact on the environment is still much less than burning fuel in a small internal combustion engine. Power plants have the advantage of higher temperatures, more consistant loads, unlimited weight and size, and being always on. They are much more efficient at pulling energy out of fossil fuels, even including losses due to transmition, charging, and the electrical engine.

Re:Ride a motorcycle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494917)

Okay, so an electric motorcycle? But then what to call it... maybe, a motorized motorcycle? Or maybe just shorten it to "motorcycle"?

Re:Ride a motorcycle? (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495081)

If you want an electric motorcycle, why would you pick this? If you're on a budget, I'd go for something like this [autobloggreen.com] . If you've got coin to spare, perhaps this [ridemission.com] (gotta love G-forces almost as high as those on the Space Shuttle ;) ).

Seems rather silly (4, Insightful)

dasunt (249686) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494583)

35 mph, 35 miles before a recharge is needed.

A bike will easily go 15 mph, doesn't have a range restriction, and uses no electricity.

A motorized scooter will go the same speed or faster, and has a greater range, plus has the advantage of being able to stop almost anywhere for gasoline.

So which niche is this targetting?

Re:Seems rather silly (1)

kkrajewski (1459331) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494785)

It's slightly harder to steal than a bicycle! Feature!

Re:Seems rather silly (1)

st0rmshad0w (412661) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495219)

Is it? A bicycle won't balance itself.

Re:Seems rather silly (2, Interesting)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494789)

Last year, on vacation at a beach resort, I happened upon the local Segway salesman/rental guy in a bar. He was going on and on about the benefits of his vehicles. I leaned in, and challenged him to a race. Him on the Seg, me on my bike. Beach to downtown and back...15 miles each way. And I am probably twice his age.

He quickly changed the subject.

The niche that wants to stay dry when it rains. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494819)

So which niche is this targetting?

I work approx. four miles from home, and bicycle when the weather is nice. The speed limit is 25mph, so I don't need much horsepower, but I would love something to keep me out of the rain. The article says that "the idea is to eventually develop a closed-cockpit vehicle that can be driven through adverse weather conditions". This would work perfectly for me.

Re:The niche that wants to stay dry when it rains. (1)

Rabbitbunny (1202531) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495041)

it's called a velomobile.

you can send my consulting fee via PayPal.

Re:The niche that wants to stay dry when it rains. (1)

Marcika (1003625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495143)

A motorbike on which you don't get wet? It was called the BMW C1 [wikipedia.org] - a nice idea that flopped for obvious reasons: More expensive, more gay and more sluggish than a scooter (just like the PUMA), and unlike a car it doesn't protect you against really bad weather (just like the PUMA).

15 mph... Easily? (1)

qpawn (1507885) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494829)

Speak for yourself, Lance Armstrong... The last time I went 15 mph on my bike was downhill.

Re:Seems rather silly (1)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494921)

Double the range and I can make it back and forth to work in it. I've ridden bikes on the roads here while I was in college; that is taking your life in your hands. On top of that you end up arriving to work smelly and sweaty on any day that isn't too cold or the weather isn't too bad to ride. There are plenty of people who are worried about their ability to get to work is dependent on the whims of the oil market. The price of oil that is currently keeping gas prices from bankrupting our ability to get to work are also currently discouraging exploration and thereby tempting higher prices in the future.

No range limit? (2, Insightful)

DigitalReverend (901909) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495051)

For me a bicycle has a range limit to about the end of the driveway.

Re:Seems rather silly (1)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495085)

So which niche is this targetting?

Let's look at the two companies behind this thing. We have GM, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. We also have Segway, which is also rumored to be on the verge of bankruptcy. [cnn.com] Both companies are known for creating devices that are tremendous [wikipedia.org] flops. [wikipedia.org] I think it's safe to say, they have no idea.

Re:Seems rather silly (1)

Extremus (1043274) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495205)

Presidents.

Re:Seems rather silly (1)

Tilzs (959354) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495229)

Can I get snow tires for it?

GM... Seriously (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494591)

Just stop

Fail already and go into bankruptcy.

You wouldn't know innovation or style if it bit you in the ass.

Your cars suck, your business model sucks, your concepts suck.

Just stop, I don't want any more of my tax money to going to GM so they can make things like this and continue their normal practices of sucking ass.

Re:GM... Seriously (1)

clam666 (1178429) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494885)

Nonsense. They wanted billions, now they have to waste billions. GM has been releasing crap vehicles for years, and they've always made sure the GM and AFL/CIO executives got paid. You want them to stop now?

Re:GM... Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27495065)

truer words were never spoken or written before your comment.

Campus life... (2, Interesting)

Quantos (1327889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494613)

It would be a cool way to get from one end of campus to another.
Just imagine the convenience of having a two wheeled, compact and light weight form of transportation that you could lock up on your way into class.

Re:Campus life... (2, Insightful)

cornercuttin (1199799) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495037)

what happened to bicycles?

when i was in college (not too long ago), people still rode bikes. the only problem was in the snow, as people would try to ride up a steep hill and bust their ass. you wouldn't catch me in one of these segway things on a steep, snowy hill either tho.

this seems a little too "road 2.0" to me.

Just dont make any... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494619)

...sudden moves.

I'm sorry... (3, Insightful)

Thelasko (1196535) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494649)

but this thing is an epic fail. It's a prime example of why GM is going into bankruptcy.

Re:I'm sorry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494725)

Why are you sorry?

I'm happy to see... (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494723)

The dreams of the Homer car will finally come true...

Re:I'm happy to see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494787)

Nah, for that it needs a horn here, here, and here.

For pete's sake, what's wrong with the bicycle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494739)

Bikes are cheap, reliable, easy to produce, and easy to fix. Using bikes makes people healthier, the streets quieter, and reduces pollution and traffic.

Sure, if you're infirm or disabled, I can appreciate the need for electric vehicles like this new 2-person Segway thing. Other than that, why not just save a ton of money and just buy a city bike? Add studded tires and wool long underwear for winter and ride it year-round.

/me thinks this idea won't save GM. (1)

peterdaly (123554) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494779)

Too big for a standard sidewalk.

Too small to be safe on the road.

Has a roll-cage...because it needs one. /me thinks this idea won't save GM.

Naming (2, Funny)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494815)

I think the GM name is a bit tainted these days, and as for Segway, that's synonymous with venture capital funded half-baked ideas that failed to learn the lessons of previous marketing failures.

How about something with a classical ring to it, like 'Sinclair.' And for the model name, well how about C for 'cool' and 5 for the number of people who will need to buy it? There. Sinclair C5 [wikipedia.org] . Perfect.

Segway's Motto should be: (5, Funny)

happy_place (632005) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494847)

Segway: Stealing the last particle of human dignity from rent-a-cops worldwide.

Re:Segway's Motto should be: (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495121)

Oh god that was fucking, yeah, I'm saying it, fucking funny!

GM and two wheels (1, Funny)

kpainter (901021) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494893)

Hmmm. I guess since this thing has two less wheels than a normal GM vehicle, reliability is automatically doubled.

GM: R.I.P +1 , Informative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27494915)

G.M. vehicles are vaporware [calculatedriskblog.com] .

Chrysler will be sold for scrap in Chapter 7.

Yours In Communism,
Kilgore Trout

2012?! (1)

stokessd (89903) | more than 5 years ago | (#27494947)

Coming out in 2012? GM won't be around by then...

Now you can get beat up in pairs: http://www.yesbutnobutyes.com/archives/2009/04/get_beaten_up_i.html

Sheldon

Segway has jumped the shark (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495083)

Okay, "jumped the shark" isn't a perfect fit, but I just can't think of a better phrase - but with the Segway and now this vehicle, it's like they have no idea how to really be original in a way that addresses an actual issue. It simply comes down to all this silly stuff about being able to balance on fewer wheels than normal. But what, exactly, do you actually gain from a practical standpoint by doing that? It seems like we've got these impractical, uselessly overengineered products that don't fit into any good niche. They're expensive and way too slow for what they actually do. Our entire infrastructure would have to be completely overhauled before they could be remotely useful to the average person.

If you add a third wheel to either vehicle - as others have mentioned - you could accomplish the exact same thing for much less money and with much simpler engineering. But since Segway doesn't have an actual practical contribution to make, doing that would eliminate Segway's participation entirely (which might be a good thing).

It's a rickshaw... (1)

ionymous (1216224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495141)

without the asian dude. GM is causing more job losses. That's so sterotypical!

Good grief... (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495215)

Does Segway make anything that doesn't make you look like a dork when riding in/on it?

This is NOT a car (1)

barberousse (1432239) | more than 5 years ago | (#27495235)

At least in Québec. The rule (in Québec) to be a car is to have 4 wheels or more. The T-Rex [campagnamotors.com] for example is considered a motorcycle even though you can drive it with a car driver license (class 5).
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