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Segway LLC imagines futuristic four-wheeled vehicle

More than a scooter, less than a car

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Not satisfied with dominating the sophisticated wheelchair market, Segway LLC. has laid out plans for a future assault on the four-wheeled rich kid toy segment.

Word broke this week about Segway's futuristic "Centaur" vehicle. The product is only in the concept phase at the moment and may never make it to market. But as is typical of the work done by Segway inventor Dean Kamen, the Centaur looks to be a true revolution.

The vehicle has four wheels all connected by complex machinery that simple minds like ours can't begin to describe. In addition, the Centaur has what looks to be a seat, some handlebars and a throttle mechanism.

"I expect estates throughout Silicon Valley to be designed around the Centaur," said Apple's CEO Steve Jobs. "Spoiled children everywhere will be able to traverse golf courses and the backyards of mansions with incredible ease."

Jobs, of course, didn't say that but was a backer of the Segway scooter. Only a few thousand of the two-wheeled Segways have been shipped so far; however; advocates of the device remain confident that it will change the way we all live . . . any day.

Segway LLC may have learned a lesson from the Segway. The Centaur seems to be a clear indication that the company is moving in the direction of the lucrative four-wheeled transportation market. In addition, a number of analysts have suggested that cities may one day be built around similar vehicles known as cars. ®

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