Segway and GM develop two-wheeled city vehicle

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

New York (NY) – Segway and General Motors (GM) describe it as Project PUMA, but there is really other way to describe this device as a Segway scooter with two seats and a roof. It is just a prototype at this time, but if this vehicle becomes a reality it may not only give GM better cards when dealing with the government and its bailout, but also make us rethink how we get around town.

Called Personal Urban Mobility & Accessibility, Segway believes that it has the potential to set “a new vision for the future of urban transportation.” Just like the Segway Personal Transporter (PT), it has only two main wheels (and an additional two more to support it when in a parked position), two seats and a roof.     

The company claims that it can reach a top speed of 35 mph and is good for a range of up to 35 miles. A full charge of the lithium-ion batteries will cost only about $0.60, Segway claims.

At least at this time, the PUMA is just a prototype and there is no indication when the device could go into mass production. Pricing is another open question, but it is obvious that it will be substantially more expensive than the PT, which sells from about $5300. Practicality will also be limited to the transportation of two people and perhaps two backpacks or briefcases. If you need a trunk, you will need to step at least to a Smart car, or its electric version which is rumored to become available in 2010.