First Look and Hands On: Segway PT i2

So a few weeks ago my family and I vacationed in Orlando, Florida and like any family who goes to Orlando with younger siblings, one of the must do’s is the whole Disney experience. During one of these Disney trips- this time to the Epcot theme park- my dad and I stopped by the Segway– those little motor powered scooters that have become popularized across the globe- demonstration part in “Innovations”, and we were able to actually go in and ride them. Do I think this will soon replace your car? Read on for the answer!

Features:

  • Small, Innovative, Sturdy Design– In comparison to a car, its tiny–supposedly the same size a person occupies when walking (they can therefore be used on sidewalks and such). Don’t worry about smashing it if you drop it or if you’re “slightly overweight” and sit on it– the Segway is formed from metal-like material and can handle between 100-250 pounds! It also comes in three colors: white, black, and a light brown looking color called “metallic sage.”

Segway’s small, scooter like design.

  • Decent Speed– Forget about zero to sixty in 3 seconds–this thing’s top speed is 12 mph– but hey, when your going local, or on a sidewalk (where this was designed to be for), how fast do you really need to go?
  • Easy to carry– How about when you are going up steps and you were riding on a Segway? Carrying is easy and the wheels are durable so don’t worry about shattering them and breaking your Segway.
  • Easy to use– The way you navigate this ride, is simple, easy, and fun. To move forward, all you do is lean forward on the mat you stand on. To move in reverse, all you do is tilt your heels to the back of the mat. To stop, stand still. Turning is also easy, and there all you do is turn the handle slightly right or left and the vehicle responds by doing the same. This new style is quick and very, very easy to master in only a few minutes of use.
  • Easy to charge (both for you and your wallet)– Probably the greatest part of this ride- the ability to charge in your house using only your electric outlet. This ride is all electric, and takes 6-8 hours to charge its removable Lithium Ion battery (same type of battery found in iPods and cell phones) for going up to 24 miles. Again, this doesn’t sound like much, but when your not going too far- which this thing was designed for, small travel- and your not paying $4+ gas for your car and dealing with all the traffic on the roads, it isn’t so bad.
  • Very Secure– Believe it our not, this thing is very secure. Yes it has no doors or windows, but each Segway has a very unique code in the key that works only with that specific Segway. The Segway also doesn’t work if the key isn’t recognized, and will not “balance” itself without the key (it will fall flat on its face, making it hard for the thief to get away with it, and will probably discourage him/her because they can’t even use it if they get it).

Now that we covered the features, lets move to some of the drawbacks.

Drawbacks:

  • No Seats, A/C, Heat, Radio, GPS or anything of the like– This could probably be due to its small design and no roof or doors, but it leaves me wondering what to do if its extreme winter or summer weather when you ride this. Maybe this will change as the tech inside the Segway advances and new models come out.
  • Only one person at a time on it– HUGE drawback especially if you wanted this to replace your car. Maybe this will also change as the tech in it advances and new models come out.
  • Pricey– This will come especially hard to people who just bout one of those cool, but expensive iPhone 3G’s (we’re talking about the 2 year contract you need to sign- that extra $10 a month is gonna be killer) lol. These things only allow one at a time (see above), and cost right now is around $5,000 a pop (for the cheaper models- ouch).
  • Gets Rid of Walking and Exercise– We all could probably use shedding some weight (including myself), and if we use this to cover going small distances, we won’t be able to lose weight during walks (though for all the lazy readers out there, this may be the best part).

Final Verdict: These things are great and a real joy to ride. Simple, easy and fun as I said before, and they are also becoming more mainstream with gas rising higher and higher. Do I think these are INSANELY cool and fun? Yes. Do I think now is the time to go out and buy one of these right now? No. Do I think if your near an area like Epcot in Disney World Florida, or another area with Segway tours, that you should try one out- Yes. These things have a lot of promise, and with some few improvements, could very well be the next way you travel around.

What you think on this whole new form of transportation? Have you seen any in some big cities like New York or in airports, and if so what you think about them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

O, by the way, here is a pic of a prototype that Segway has of a new version- only 2 right now in the world, one in Epcot, the other with Segway.

A Segway Prototype- Sorry for the “shiny reflection”, my camera’s Flash was on.

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Posted on July 26, 2008, in First Look/Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I have tried out the Segway pt here in New Zealand. It’s fantastic and easy to develop a low weight wet weather cover, just use light fibre poles and a plastic cover with windows in and flow through air vents, sure ain’t rocket science to develop one and from a safety point of view stalk indicator led lights that are red to rear view and can be made to illuminate when slowing down.

    There that takes care of the safety lobby and improves the ride and extends its use time and thus increases its long term cost effectiveness

    The future? It’s arrived. It’s SEGWAY

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