In one of the most incredible transportation announcements to date, General Motors and Segway have just released pics of a new battery powered two-wheeled vehicle! The vehicle, known as Project P.U.M.A, is designed to allow for easy movement through congested urban streets. A belayed April Fool’s joke? or a preview of General Motor’s future?
Project P.U.M.A (which stands for Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility), is effectively an enclosed scooter capable of achieving speeds of around 35 miles per hour, for a maximum distance of roughly 35 miles per charge. The design is being unveiled as we type.
P.U.M.A uses technology developed for the Segway personal vehicle, originally designed by Dean Kamen. This allows the vehicle to operate using two wheels only, though the vehicles has been fitted with training wheels which are quite helpful when stopping. GM hopes to convince a number of cities of colleges to set up P.U.M.A travel lanes. The vehicles are intended to drive automatically — almost by themselves — allowing human passengers to relax and sit back while their P.U.M.A navigates traffic. They are equipped with a wireless system to allow for easy navigation, and avoid traffic congestion.
While we must admit to being excited by this stunning new technology, particularly by a car manufacturer such as GM, we do have to wonder… why not just ride a bike? If this new design is successful, you can expect to see it on sale by around 2012.