GM and Segway Introduce PrototypePosted on April 13th, 2009
Two-passenger electric vehicle unveiled in New York
Last week, General Motors and Segway introduced a prototype that takes personal urban mobility in a new direction. The two-wheel electric vehicle currently on display at the New York International Auto Show is a compact alternative to traditional cars.
The two-passenger PUMA concept has a top speed of 35 miles-per-hour, and a range between recharges of 35 miles. It runs on lithium-ion batteries.
PUMA stands for Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility: it’s the umbrella for a series of collaborative efforts between GM and Segway, aimed at reducing pollution and traffic in crowded urban areas.
The prototype demonstrates several technologies GM and Segway are collaborating on: electric drive and batteries, dynamic stabilization (two wheel balancing), and vehicle-to-vehicle communications among them.
“Project PUMA represents a unique solution to moving about and interacting in cities, where more than half of the world’s people live,” said Larry Burns, GM vice president of research and development and strategic planning. Operation costs for the prototype are a third to a quarter of a gas-powered car.
“Imagine small, nimble electric vehicles that know where other moving objects are and avoid running into them,” said Burns. “Now connect those vehicles in an Internet-like web and you can greatly enhance the ability of people to move through cities, find places to park and connect to their social and business networks.”
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