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The Chevy Segway Keeps On Rolling (Video)

Roblimo posted more than 2 years ago | from the as-if-regular-Segways-weren't-dorky-enough dept.

Technology 210

Back in 2009 G.M. and Segway talked about the P.U.M.A., or Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility vehicle. Now it's the EN-V, which stands for Electric Network Vehicle. G.M. (along with partner Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) debuted the thing in Shanghai in 2010, then displayed it at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show in 2011, and now they're showing it off at auto shows, no doubt hoping to get a lot of buzz going for this two-wheeled wonder, which is supposed to be so loaded with navigation and collision avoidance electronics that you can sleep in it on your way to work. (Please wake us up when we get there, okay?)

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Christine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38817625)

And then came the one named Christine...

Re:Christine (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818691)

Rather see that than this dumb negroid. Holt shit - GM thinks putting her near that is a good idea? Exceedingly dumb.

Wow (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38817639)

Could we maybe get a little less talking by the broadcaster and a little more of a look at the damn thing

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38817745)

Mod the parent up. Totally useless video - it might as well be text page.

Re:Wow (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38817769)

With all that bimbo speak, at least she could show some more of her bazangas to at least keep us interested.
And she needs to learn how to how a microphone. Her big, fat paw and man claws are distracting.

Re:Wow (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817917)

That was what I was hoping for. Why a video at all? All it is is a talking head (which I didn't hear because I keep the sound shut off on this computer) and some STILL pics of the vehicle.

It looks pretty cool, I wonder what they cost? Probably more than I paid for my car (I never buy cars new).

Re:Wow (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818191)

(which I didn't hear because I keep the sound shut off on this computer).

You're lucky. She's got an annoying grating voice to boot...I've got sound and I turned it off.

Re:Wow (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818629)

Yawn.....

Wake up when they FINALLY get around to producing the Urban Assault Vehicle that I've been waiting for for decades...

;)

Re:Wow (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819197)

Well, duh! Because without the video we wouldn't have that awesome "robotic" sound at the beginning of the article! /sarcasm

Re:Wow (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819277)

Here is a less pointless video:
http://cnettv.cnet.com/gm-en-v/9742-1_53-50098358.html

The Government gave us a blank check (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817675)

"So now we can spend money on stupid stuff (like segway clones) that were already proven failures by other companies (Segway)." - GM

No I'm not trolling.
This is my honest opinion.
Though their Volt car seems like a decent idea; not sure why it isn't selling better?

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817783)

If you ever been to Shanghai, the first thing this reminds you of is a cycle-less rickshaw (opposed to a horseless carriage). Wacky.

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (0)

h5inz (1284916) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817827)

Failure in sense of what? They are practical, but the main reason why people don't use them seems to be that people don't want to be seen riding them. I would suggest that it could be the same with these cars but... It is GM that we are talking about, I bet they would use their influence, so that decision makers would take measures to encourage the stupid majority to use them. So given that these things are said to consume less energy as well, it is a good news then, right?

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (2)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817979)

Segways were a complete failure because they were incredibly impractical. Their whole model was built on the idea that cities would decide to create segway lanes. The only practical use I've seen for them are cops in parks instead of riding on bikes (because cops are too fat typically nowadays to ride a bike that long anyway).

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819135)

Segways were a complete failure because they were incredibly impractical.

The fact that the CEO for Segway died after accidentally driving one off a cliff into a river [forbes.com] didn't help much either.

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819339)

CEO yes, founder and segway creator, no. That guy has gone on to other projects.

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (1)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817989)

people don't want to be seen riding them. I would suggest that it could be the same with these cars

I think you are right in that I don't think anyone would buy one of these as their own vehicle but there is one very obvious use that I can see.

Assuming they are as self guiding as the article makes out, you could use them as driverless taxi services running people to/from supermarkets and train stations etc.

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818067)

Stupid majority? Segways are illegal to drive on most if not all public roadways and sidewalks in the US. It's 20 F outside today, so I guess I my beer would still be cold on my return from the grocery store.

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (2)

MrAngryForNoReason (711935) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818447)

Failure in sense of what? They are practical,

In a lot of places Segways are illegal to ride on the pavement as they travel at 10+ mph and are also illegal to ride on the rode as they are too slow to coexist in cycle lanes or with actual traffic. Wikipedia has a good round up of restrictions in different states/countries [wikipedia.org] .

So essentially they aren't very practical because there are limited places where you can actually ride it. For a device that costs thousands of pounds it is a pretty big deal breaker when you can't actually go anywhere.

Also being slower and massively more expensive than bikes makes them pretty pointless for able bodied people to use for transport and the need to stand up to ride them makes them pretty pointless for non-able bodied people to use for transport.

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817959)

Though their Volt car seems like a decent idea; not sure why it isn't selling better?

Because they start at like $40 grand and a Prius is $23k. That's a LOT of gas - even the guy at work who has already has solar cells and was going to charge it for "free" couldn't justify the price given the current price of gas.

(We live in PA, so currently he is allowed to spin his electric meter backwards with the solar cells - that is why "free" is in quotes... it would actually cost him the going rate of electricity.)

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817997)

So now we can spend money on stupid stuff (like segway clones) that were already proven failures by other companies (Segway).

Segway was a failure because it's too goddamned expensive. Six grand? I only spent ten on my car. When the patents run out and they're a hundred bucks each, everybody will have one.

The volt isn't selling better for the same reason. A teeny little car that costs more than my full sized sedan did new, has limited range, etc? No thanks. When an electric car costs no more than a gasoline car, they too will sell well.

The 1% do not understand the 99%. Most of us don't have much money we can afford to waste on expensive toys like segways and electric cars, and those who can buy any damned thing they please can't get their heads around that.

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818377)

It's really worse than that. I can buy a road-worthy used car, safety and emissions passed, and powertrain warranted for four times the time the segway is warranted for (which is just 1 year), for $2,000.

Even assuming you wouldn't do anything that a segway couldn't do (OOoops! All northern climates just got excluded! Damn!) you would need to save $4,000 in gas/parts to make the segway a good deal. Assuming maintenance on a warranted car is $200 a year, that's $3,200 in gas. Let's say you bought something reasonably econobox that gets 32 mpg, that's 25,600 miles. Assuming electricity for your segway is free (HA!) you would have to charge it 1,067 times to get that many miles from it (and that's at the manufacturers unlikely 24 miles a charge--many segway users only depend on it getting 10 miles from a charge), and that's a bare minimum, and that assumes the batteries survive that many charges (Of course, they don't, you'll need to buy three battery packs @ $600 a piece to get that many charges). That's almost a full battery depletion and recharge every day over the 4 years the car runs.

The segway was DOA from day one.

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (2)

cduffy (652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818985)

Assuming electricity for your segway is free (HA!)

Not that far from it. I don't have numbers on the Segway, but for the e-bike I used to own (45 mile range on 1.2kWh of electricity including charger and battery losses), that's much, much less than $35/year for a full charge every day at the highest residential rate (middle of the summer, above the first 500 kWH).

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818539)

mod you up....if I had any points left

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818811)

Why. GP doesn't know what he's talking about. Volt has a gas generator, so it has plenty of range. Segway's are priced for a profit, but if you think they could sell at $100 without a loss, you don't understand the technology. You need a good battery, strong motor, gearing, fast CPU, sensitive gyros, etc. If you think you can build for $100, go for it.

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818659)

The other problem is that the two parallel wheels thing is just pointless. There are electric scooters [nycewheels.com] that do the same thing as a Segway but are way cheaper because they put the wheels one in front of the other.

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (2)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819187)

they're not pointless: they give the vehicle self-balancing capability and let it fit into the form factor a person fits in. you can't take a scooter onto a crowded elevator

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (3, Interesting)

superdude72 (322167) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818949)

Segway was a failure because it's too goddamned expensive. Six grand? I only spent ten on my car. When the patents run out and they're a hundred bucks each, everybody will have one.

Also, many cities--including mine, San Francisco--have banned their use on sidewalks. If I could buy the original Segway for under $2,000 and take it down the sidewalk, it would be a nice way to get around in a dense city with a lot of hills.

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (1)

Envy Life (993972) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819131)

Limited range? You obviously don't understand what a plug-in hybrid is -- an electric car with a [typically] gasoline powered electric generator on board. The range for the volt is estimated at 379 miles, which is more than most passenger vehicles on the road.

The volt isn't selling better for the same reason. A teeny little car that costs more than my full sized sedan did new, has limited range, etc? No thanks. When an electric car costs no more than a gasoline car, they too will sell well.

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (1)

hideouspenguinboy (1342659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818311)

Why would you expect the Volt to sell better? It's looks to me like a $40,000 gimmick. I'd at least expect most people to wait a few years for the service data to become available.

Aside from some kind of weird hippy e-peen, what would recommend that vehicle over some other in or below it's price range?

Problems with selling the Volt (2)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818697)

Though their Volt car seems like a decent idea; not sure why it isn't selling better?

Because its a fairly new plug-in hybrid that's substantially expensive as many competing hybrids (including, now, plug-in models) from more established brands (e.g., Prius), that is marketed as an "electric car" while at the same time spending a lot of marketing effort to overcome the perception of limitations of electric cars, and that is much more expensive than competitors electric cars (e.g., the Nissan Leaf.)

If they had marketed it as a very fuel efficient hybrid, rather than trying to market it as an electric car and then trying to overcome the public perception of the limitation of electric cars (a limitation that is real, but doesn't apply to the Volt because its a plug-in hybrid, not an electric car) they would have faced less challenges, but they probably saw "electric car" as more of a differentiator, as there were lots of hybrids on the market. While that's probably true, and its probably a positive differentiator for a certain segment of the market, that segment is precisely the segment that is going to be turned off when they find out it actually has a gas tank.

But even then it would be hard sell -- its a very expensive product that most of the intended market would need to finance, that doesn't appeal to the luxury-oriented market, that hit the market during an economic downturn that featured a major credit crunch, and for which the nearest competitors were much less expensive. Its not amazing that it was hard to sell even if the marketing had been spot on.

Re:The Government gave us a blank check (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819291)

My understanding is that Segway "bombed" because law writers could not make heads or tails of it.

Now if Segway had gone ahead with their Centaur, people may have had a easier time "getting" the whole thing.

Because Segways were a raging success (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817685)

Nothing like watching GM blow its bailout money on this turd.

Re:Because Segways were a raging success (2)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817731)

At least the US bailout returned the company to the top spot. [bbc.co.uk] Can the same be said of other bailout recipients?

Re:Because Segways were a raging success (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817969)

Are they actually turning a profit yet, or did the bailout just delay the inevitable?

The fact that they are selling more cars than anyone else is completely worthless if they are still operating at a loss.

Re:Because Segways were a raging success (2)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818019)

Are they actually turning a profit yet, or did the bailout just delay the inevitable?

The fact that they are selling more cars than anyone else is completely worthless if they are still operating at a loss.

Sure, they may be selling every car at a loss, but they plan on making up the difference in volume.

Re:Because Segways were a raging success (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818097)

They made a profit in 2010 and are expected to profit in 2011, but I don't think the numbers have been released yet.

Re:Because Segways were a raging success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818289)

They made a "profit" through accounting gimmicks that would land anyone else in jail.

Re:Because Segways were a raging success (1)

hrvatska (790627) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818969)

I'm curious, what sort of accounting gimmicks are they using that would land anyone else in jail? From what I can tell there's not much that a major corporation, GM or otherwise, can do that will land someone in jail at the executive level.

Re:Because Segways were a raging success (-1, Flamebait)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818397)

You're wasting your time linking to the BBC for someone who obviously gets 100% of his "news" from Fox. It's preatty damned obvious he didn't listen to Obama's speech last night (Obama was bragging about GM, and it was a damned good speech), but I'll bet a donut to a dollar (yeah, dollars to donuts have reversed, since donuts aren't ten cents apiece any more) he listened to the Republican "rebuttal".

The only cure for stupid is the roof of a tall building to step off of, a bus to step in front of, or a bullet.

Reminds me of a Sparrow EV (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817705)

They rolled-over a lot and damaged the driver. (Then the company went bankrupt.)

Re:Reminds me of a Sparrow EV (1)

Whorhay (1319089) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818257)

I did a little googling and couldn't find much about accidents involving Sparrows, do you have any useful citations for that assertion? The main barrier in my eyes to the Sparrow EV line catching on would be the price tag for a single seater. At $30,000 you could just spend twice as much and get a Tesla Model S and still have some spending money left over. Granted I'm comparing an older existing product to a prototype but the Model S even though it's easily twice the value it still appeals to a relatively tiny portion of the population.

The ultimate commuter car (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817709)

Who can sleep in a car seat? Not me, I haven't been able to since I was 3.

Now, the only thing that will motivate me to give up control of my car is if I can darken the windows and have a wank on the way to / from work. I have a 30 minute commute... just about perfect.

In the meantime, I'm going to [try to] enjoy the experience of driving while I still can.

Re:The ultimate commuter car (4, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817757)

I have a 30 minute commute... just about perfect.

What would you be doing the other 29 minutes?

Re:The ultimate commuter car (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38817833)

Comment here, obviously.

Re:The ultimate commuter car (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818581)

Clean the inside of his darkened windEW GROSS I can't do it...

What in Sam Hell is a 'Puma'? (5, Funny)

SlipDisc (40657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817735)

Sarge: May I introduce, our new Light-Reconnaissance vehicle. (Rotating around the new jeep) It has 4-inch Armor Plating; M.A.G. Bumper 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: Uhh, 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!

Missing parts (4, Funny)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817737)

Where's the bamboo handles and the skinny guy to make it go?

Isn't that the Woz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38817741)

Isn't that the woz at 00:37?

An electric pod car for pod people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38817743)

But it has nothing to do with pods. It has nothing to do with people. It's all about hurting.

Or if you don't like that.

If this is for "pod people" then who's going to buy it? Pod people got no reason to live.

Trumpy no!

Re:An electric pod car for pod people. (1)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818159)

It stinks!

MST3K also riffed on Pumaman. Plus you have P.U.M.A. EN-V to contemplate. Sounds like someone in marketing is having a bit of fun here.

Whet they need is (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817759)

supposed to be so loaded with navigation and collision avoidance electronics that you can sleep in it on your way to work.

Whet they need is a way to get you to your desk and into your chair without waking you, making the transition form commute to work entirely seamless.

Re:Whet they need is (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818051)

If only there were some way to get a chair and desk installed in your home.. and connect via some kind of communications network to your workplace and/or colleagues to share files. Maybe some way of sending text, audio or even visual communications.. that would be cool. It would save billions of units of currency of fuel each year, not to mention commuting time.

Of course we just don't have the technology, and probably never will. Why do I torture myself with such dreams?

Re:Whet they need is (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818381)

Oh, we have the technology. We have everything you describe...and more (btw, I get your point).

What we lack is the leadership to use it *wisely*. It makes infinite sense (to leadership) to require people to travel to a location where they can reach out and touch you, look at you, know you are there no matter what you are doing. Why at home that worker could be...maybe...reading /., because he or she would never do that at work. The office is preferred to some, the home to others. When a job is suited to handle both, why do our leaders not recognize that productivity is not measured by the clock, but by the task. Let those who like an office work in one, let those who work better at home do so, thus managing and not babysitting the workforce.

Old Segways dont let you sit! (1)

MattDaye (2559921) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817765)

Bicyles and walking through city centers are a thing of the past! Now you can sit everywhere! You can sit at home, you can sit on the commute in to work, you can sit the few blocks you would usually walk from your parking lot to your office or between the office and the local coffee shop, then continue to sit all day in the office! Soon shops will have drive throughs for your ENV and your office building will have special doors and hallways andeven big elevators to allow you to drive right to your cubicle in the office! Viva La Revolution! Sitting is the future!

Re:Old Segways dont let you sit! (3, Funny)

leonardluen (211265) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817863)

I just realized...we are the daleks!!!

just need to make it look more like a garbage can and stick a plunger on it...

Re:Old Segways dont let you sit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818399)

I just hope that one day in the future they invent a small tracked robot to make us remember how to love again. Also, if it could collect and compact garbage then that'd be great too.

Toys for rich people in Southern California (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38817795)

You'd never believe that they were bankrupt and living off government bailouts. Actually, that's the only thing that could possibly explain the financial death-march of the Volt project and continued research and development on things like this, The introduction of the Volt has led to the amazing discovery that cars need heaters and air conditioners to function outside of perpetually warm climates, Put a heater and air conditioner in an electric car and its range drops to a few miles. So you put in a "seat warmer", and accept the reality that you have created a car that is only marketable in Southern California. They're trying to sell Volts and Leafs in Minnesota and Texas. I live in Chicago and I have never, not even once seen a Volt or Leaf on the road. This car is even worse. How does it perform in 12 inches of blowing snow? How comfortable is that black bubble when it's over 100 degrees out? Why would anyone buy this car who doesn't live in, say, coastal Southern California, where the climate is perpetually mild? Yet GM is pouring ungodly amounts of money into ridiculous crap like this. This is exactly what happens when a company becomes captured by the government and detached from the need to actually make profits. At this rate, they are going to need another bailout very, very soon, because they are sinking their capital into developing and manufacturing products that very few people wants. But the next Republican Congress is not going to give them another bailout, and they are going to be right back in bankruptcy court, reorganizing the company for real, like they should have done before instead of turning it into Barack Obama's personal toy factory.

Re:Toys for rich people in Southern California (1, Flamebait)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817873)

And there's no room for a gun rack on the back window. This is a quiet assault on the Second Amendment!

Segway had potential (1)

netwarerip (2221204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817797)

If asshat politicians and places like Disney didn't overreact and put bans in place on them before they even came out then who knows if they could have been more popular, and more affordable?

While a lot of that early regulation got overturned eventually it seemed like it got bushwacked before it had a chance.

Re:Segway had potential (2)

MrAngryForNoReason (711935) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818531)

Seemed to me that the bans were pretty reasonable. Something on the pavement that weighs a considerable amount and has a top speed of 12.5mph isn't suitable to be ridden on the pavement. At the same time a vehicle with a top speed of 12.5mph is too slow to ride on the road and causes an dangerous obstruction in a dedicated cycle lane of people riding bikes at 10-20mph.

Can somebody explain to me ... (5, Interesting)

jopet (538074) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817883)

the physics of doing an emergency break with two parallel wheels when going 35 mph?

Re:Can somebody explain to me ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818099)

the physics of doing an emergency break with two parallel wheels when going 35 mph?

"slap"

Re:Can somebody explain to me ... (2)

digitalsolo (1175321) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818101)

Sure, it's simple.

*CRASH*

See? Simple.

i see ... (1)

jopet (538074) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818339)

and that is what I thought. So who would want to buy a flawed design like this?

Re:i see ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818605)

Hipsters.

Re:i see ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818669)

and that is what I thought. So who would want to buy a flawed design like this?

It isn't the segway design that is flawed, it was your suggestion of using a braking system that is designed to lock the wheels. Or did you not understand how emergency brakes work?

As for making a sudden stop, stopping from 35 mph involves greater force than stopping from 12 mph, but the underlying physics don't change. For all the reasons I won't be buying one, fear of being unable to stop isn't one of them.

Re:Can somebody explain to me ... (1)

jrbrtsn (103896) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818127)

I'll give you a hint: it's looks a lot like a rolling ball...

well ... (1)

jopet (538074) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818323)

that is more or less what I thought ...

If that is so blatantly obvious that even I can see it, why are they still working on it?

Re:Can somebody explain to me ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818773)

I didn't watch the video, but the older pictures show little wheels in front and behind as well as the two main wheels. Presumably these help prevent it from flipping over during rapid acceleration and deceleration.

Re:Can somebody explain to me ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818763)

besides *roll/crash*...

This vehicle is meant to work with others, not with vehicles already on the road. Sensors and autonomy and such mean that there should be no reason to an emergency brake due to traffic.

Of course there are exceptions to traffic: pedestrians, random falling objects, etc.

In that case, think how a normal segway works: it compensates by shifting its center of gravity. This can be achieved by "tilting" the entire vehicle backwards. I'm guessing that a tilt is used in normal braking as well.

Normal ride: ||

Braking: \\

Re:Can somebody explain to me ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818987)

From the image, the wheels seem to be on the back, with the unit resting on either a foot or a third wheel(I'm at work can listen to video, and article doesn't describe it well); so when the brakes are hit, weight will shift to the front wheel/foot. It still looks a little top heavy(compared to its small base), but I would be surprised if the engineers hadn't run the numbers to make sure it wouldn't topple over, in a simple e-break scenario.

NYC Auto show (5, Funny)

tekrat (242117) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817893)

They were displaying a prototype of this 2 years ago at the NY Auto Show held at the Javits Center... My friend and I are standing by it, and we're trying to guess how much electronics are crammed into the thing, and my friend says "I'll bet it runs Linux"... So the booth babe next to us turns and says 'No, it runs on electricity!"

We thanked her for her insightful information, took three steps and then started laughing hysterically.

Re:NYC Auto show (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818165)

We thanked her for her insightful information, took three steps and then started laughing hysterically.

Spoken like a true geek. Other people would've realized she was giving you an opening to hit on her or at least start a conversation, maybe getting her number in the end.

On behalf of all of us let me tell you: We're proud of you

Re:NYC Auto show (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818425)

Really? You think the booth babe wanted to be hit on? Oh, man - who's the socially inept one?

Re:NYC Auto show (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818665)

And by "other people" you're talking about delusional, self-centered, narcissistic assholes? I mean seriously, put yourself in her shoes for a moment, do you really want people like *me* hitting on you?

Jeeze, I might totally be disrespecting her because she's as bright as a 40-watt, but at the same time, I'm not assuming that every woman out of my league is wanting me to hit on her.

Futuristic cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38817895)

Seriously, it looks like a melted portable toilet.

I'm still waiting on my pneumatic tube subways (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817913)

Can't we just have those things from Logan's Run? They looked almost as cool that that network they had where you could hook up for sex (nothing could top that, of course).

Solved problem. (5, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817915)

The problem of getting a large number of people around in an urban setting was solved more than a hundred years ago.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle [wikipedia.org]

No reliance on fossil fuels. No recharge time. Takes very little parking space. Extremely maneuverable. Easily moved when broken. Cheap. Easy to repair.

It does have one fatal flaw - low profit margins.

Re:Solved problem. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38817967)

you forgot to mention it comes with a free workout every time you use it.

Re:Solved problem. (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818495)

Only if you ride fast. It does not have to be a workout.

Re:Solved problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818739)

Indeed. The metals for the frame, the rubber for the tyres, the tarmac for the roads they ride on, etc, are all made from renewable natural materials, none of those nasty fossil fuels!

Remember, fossil fuels=bad. Everything in this world could be made and powered from butterfly farts. The reason this isn't happening is because of Big Oil I tell you!

Re:Solved problem. (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819287)

Steel is easily recyclable.

Rubber grows on trees.

Tarmac is not needed for bicycles. Hard dirt, crushed gravel, cement, packed snow, pavé, and brick all work just fine.

Re:Solved problem. (1)

zanderz (813270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818855)

Ha, my thoughts exactly when the hyper-hyped Segway was finally unveiled: a compact, two wheeled vehicle which can travel through densely populated areas at speeds up to 17 mph? BFD, we've had that for a hundred years.

Don't forget another major problem with the Segway: it is very nearly too heavy for one person to lift for putting in a car trunk or carrying up the stairs.

Re:Solved problem. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819105)

Very much agree. I've been biking to work for the past 5 years, and I love it. Keeps me fit without having to ever step foot in a gym. First little while it seems like quite a workout, but eventually it becomes just as easy as walking, or even easier. But one correction. I think there's plenty of room for profit margins in bicycles. There's a lot of high end bikes, or bikes aimed at people who like specific styles which cost way more than just the cost of the manufacturing.

The EN-V is perfect. (3, Interesting)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817923)

Imaging a fleet of these at bus/train stops for daily rental. In the US, at least, the problem with mass trasportation is getting from one stop to the rest of the destination. I tried to start a business in the Dallas area based on this. The idea is basically, a person pays a monthly subscription rental on an small shuttle electric vehicle. The company provides them with a vehicle like the EN-V at the location where they are dropped by the bus. When they are done, they simply return the vehicle to the stop, get on the bus, and go home. Ironically, the Texans that bitch all of the time about federal regulations, wouldn't let me start the business because of state requirements on vehicle size, liability insurance "path to owner" requirements, and licensing restrictions on who can run a "rental car business". If someone has the investment capital, I can guarantee the Federal incentives and tax cuts on this business alone would be worth getting into.

Re:The EN-V is perfect. (1)

iB1 (837987) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819013)

That sounds like something I've heard before...
Oh yes. the "Boris bikes" scheme in London. No need for expensive EN-Vs. Bicycles will do
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/cycling/14808.aspx [tfl.gov.uk]

to hell with that little thing (4, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#38817939)

i would rather just have a golf cart, at least a golf cart has the room to haul four people, or two people and several bags of groceries or luggage or whatever else you need to haul

Re:to hell with that little thing (1)

ClosedEyesSeeing (1278938) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818465)

several bags of groceries or luggage or whatever else you need to haul

Or, you know, golf clubs. :)

Looks like... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818125)

Riding around in a dismembered Transformer's head, specifically Bumblebee.

2012 version of Rickroll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818331)

I clicked on the video, expecting to see wacky gadgetry and weird-looking vehicles.

Instead, I got some girl talking (don't they always?) and being generally boring.

What Car? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38818445)

All I saw was a no child left behind native speaking very bad english.

fair-weather friend? (3, Insightful)

flibbidyfloo (451053) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818613)

At the very end of the video she points out that this model (2nd gen) has no windshield wipers, headlamps, or climate control. But they are looking to add that stuff for the 3rd gen model so it will be "all weather". It seems to me that by the time they add all the crap to it that a normal car has, it won't be any cheaper than buying a SMART car. Sure you can spin it around and park it more easily, but with the range and speed tradeoffs it hardly seems like a good business model.

I'm confused, who is the target market for this? (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818637)

I'm confused, who is the target market for this thing? They do not have the safety features of existing cars, so they cannot be used on the roads with existing cars. The justification for not including standard safety features is that they will never crash because, when every vehicle on the road is one of these, they will talk to each other and know where all the others are. The question is how do we get from where we are, to the place where every vehicle is one of these? Of course, the government and big businesses would love this because they would be able to track your every move.

Re:I'm confused, who is the target market for this (1)

daid303 (843777) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818841)

Car manufactures are already working on car to car communication (and car to roadside).

Also, if the government and big business would want to track your vehicles, they already can! We sell the tech for that. It's quite new, but it doesn't even require changes in the current infrastructure as it uses the normal induction loops in the road. It has only a 90-95% detection ratio (less when people are taking corners) but it should be enough to track your habits.
We are using it to track and optimize your travel time. But who knows what till will bring...

Design (1)

Jason Straight (58248) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818661)

Looks like they got their concept from the head of a yellow jacket.

http://levahnbros.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/yellow-jacket.jpg

I got all excited when I saw.. (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38818749)

The name PUMA, it made me think of Red vs Blue

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo7QCC2EDtk

What did that voice say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38819063)

Is it me, or is the last word that synthesised voice at the beginning says, "Negroid"?

Ever think that you are not the target market? (1)

Lashat (1041424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38819255)

Put your ego aside for just a moment, my little slashdotters.

I doubt that US, CA, UK, AU, NZ, or other Euro countries are the initial target market for the Chevy Segway.

Have you ever visited high population density cities in China or Taiwan (and Japan to a lesser extent)? If you have, you have also seen the insane scooter deathrace they call normal traffic conditions.
I found this video on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=P19qFzqBKGs/ [youtube.com]
Now imagine it's raining. A canopy sounds like a good thing.

I have personally witnessed scooters being driven like bumper cars in Taipei. It dawned on me then, that this was the reason scooters are designed with the protected leg space in front of the seat vs. motorcycle style. Additional driver/rider protection of a frame and collision avoidance sound like good things.

At 6'3" 260lbs (1.905m 117.9 kg) for me to consider buying one of these is ludicrous. But it wouldn't stop me from making money by selling them to these folks in Taipei.

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