Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/08/14/segway_the_next_generation/

Segway punts new breed of pogo stick with wheels

Let's offroad

By Christopher Williams

Posted in Media, 14th August 2006 14:59 GMT

Segway has unleashed a new generation of its futurtopian personal transport vehicles.

The two new models look set to at last render legs entirely useless, with one for urban scooting, and for the first time an off road model called the x2. The x2 may a big step towards Segway inventor Dean Kamen's stated vision of US special forces, er, leaning into battle aboard his creations.

The new models have done away with traditional steering altogether, expanding the lean-to-accelerate system to control direction, with riders pitching from side to side.

Segway hopes the new steering system will make the experience even more user-friendly. "We've taken that last piece of conventional user experience [and] replaced it with the magic that existed elsewhere in the product," Segway marketing VP Klee Kleber told the New York Times.

At least one well-known Texan user found the first incarnation of Segway somewhat tricky, however.

The new models come in at $4,995 for the standard i2 and $5,495 for the rugged x2. Both will top out at 12.5mph and do 24 miles between charges, the firm said.

Claiming worldwide sales in the tens of thousands, Kleber conceded Segway does have a perception problem in the US. He insightfully pointed out: "If you look at Americans and how they travel, they tend to be in cars."

For fans of electrical transport's hilarious fascinating history, we'd recommend the new movie documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?, which chronicles an abortive attempt by GM to get Americans to buy the idea.

We're sure that even now, expensive Hollywood lunches are being picked at as moguls debate Whatever Happened to the Segway?. ®

Bootnote

Segway is of course the office transport vector of choice for El Reg's upper eschelons, who rocket round Vulture Central perpetrating their white-knuckle news tyranny.