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View Full Version : Need a Segway as that special gift this Xmas?


shadowfax0
Dec 10, 2002, 03:42 PM
Well it looks as if you can own one too! (this was on the Amazon.com site, I heard something in the news a long time ago about it, but it's interesting, I'd like to know what people think)

lmalave
Dec 10, 2002, 04:44 PM
If the price came down to under $2000 I might consider buying one. For now they are $5000 and they won't start shipping 'til March. I think that for early next year Segway won't have the production capacity, so they're just selling what little they produce for exorbitant prices to the wealthy techno-enthusiasts that just have to have all the latest gadgets. I do think that the price will come down to $3000 (what they said in their original press release was going to be the price of the consumer model) by 2004. The price would definitely have to come down even lower, though, to generate any good sales volume.

At a price point of $3000, though, I might still consider getting one for my mom, though not for myself. How safe are these things, though? I heard about that postal worker that broke his ankle trying to go up a curb or something down in Atlanta. Maybe he was just being overexuberant (which my mom definitely wouldn't be). Still, if my mom took a spill on this she would be toast...

Macmaniac
Dec 10, 2002, 04:47 PM
I belong to a club that is sponsered by the creator of the Segway. Maybe when my club goes to Dallas Texas in april Dean Kamen will be nice enough to let us robotics freaks drive his lil scooter;)

Thanatoast
Dec 11, 2002, 12:22 AM
I think they're a great idea. If you live anywhere but the US. Cities in the US just aren't built for short distance hops. It's all about the 10 mile commute on the congested highway.

Sure, all the gadget-happy people will want one, but how are you gonna convince a suburbanite soccer mom to give up her Eddie Bauer Special Edition Ford Expedition for something cheap, economical and environmentally friendly?

Cheap being a relative term of course. The price point would have to come down to between $500-$1000 before I'd even consider one.

Actually,I'm being intentionally harsh on them, playing devil's advocate, but in this country I think there's just not enough community-minded people to make a market for it.

Plus you know there's gonna be huge lawsuits the first time somebody tries to ride his through a river and gets electrocuted or hasn't learned how to stop yet and flies into traffic. People just won't take responsibilty for themselves.

Please someone tell me I'm wrong. I really do think they're nifty little machines...:p

lmalave
Dec 11, 2002, 11:36 AM
Originally posted by Thanatoast
I think they're a great idea. If you live anywhere but the US. Cities in the US just aren't built for short distance hops. It's all about the 10 mile commute on the congested highway.

Sure, all the gadget-happy people will want one, but how are you gonna convince a suburbanite soccer mom to give up her Eddie Bauer Special Edition Ford Expedition for something cheap, economical and environmentally friendly?

Cheap being a relative term of course. The price point would have to come down to between $500-$1000 before I'd even consider one.

Actually,I'm being intentionally harsh on them, playing devil's advocate, but in this country I think there's just not enough community-minded people to make a market for it.

Plus you know there's gonna be huge lawsuits the first time somebody tries to ride his through a river and gets electrocuted or hasn't learned how to stop yet and flies into traffic. People just won't take responsibilty for themselves.

Please someone tell me I'm wrong. I really do think they're nifty little machines...:p

I wish you were wrong :(

Hopefully they'll at least catch on in more pedestrian and scooter-friendly locales (like many cities in Europe). I really want Segway to be able to produce these in volume so they can bring the price way down.

chicagdan
Dec 11, 2002, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by Thanatoast
I think they're a great idea. If you live anywhere but the US. Cities in the US just aren't built for short distance hops. It's all about the 10 mile commute on the congested highway.

What are you talking about? The REAL U.S. cities -- New York, Chicago, Boston, Philly, SF, Washington -- are all about short distance hops. I live in Chicago and have a two mile commute to work each day. It's absurd for me to drive a car that distance. I take the "L" most days, but often that isn't convenient either. (I basically have to walk 3/4 of a mile to take a train to go two miles, fairly ridiculous.) The Segway would be the perfect commuting vehicle.

What the Segway isn't good for is suburban transportation. Good. This country is too suburban anyway -- the result of urban planning built around the automobile. Segway-like devices that encourage short hauls will encourage greater urban development.

Now if we could only ban the SUV, we'd be well on our way to becoming independent from evil nations like Saudi Arabia and significantly reducing air pollution.

Sun Baked
Dec 11, 2002, 12:08 PM
Originally posted by chicagdan
Now if we could only ban the SUV, we'd be well on our way to becoming independent from evil nations like Saudi Arabia and significantly reducing air pollution.
A few cities and opponents of the Segway are almost calling the things the sidewalk SUV, saying that if they become too popular -- the walking pedestrians would be at risk from the mechanized monsters.

chicagdan
Dec 11, 2002, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by Sun Baked

A few cities and opponents of the Segway are almost calling the things the sidewalk SUV, saying that if they become too popular -- the walking pedestrians would be at risk from the mechanized monsters.

I've heard that complaint and it's legitimate. When you walk, you get used to a certain pace and looking people in the eyes to see what direction they are going. We don't have rear-view mirrors to give us advance warning of a segway approaching. It's entirely possible that this device will be a failure for that reason alone.

I do think, however, that Kamen is on to something and that a low-powered, personalized people mover has an important place in transportation policy. We may eventually have to create new traffic lanes for devices like these. I'm willing to take the risk -- introduce a few into the environment and see if we can accommodate them.

Roger1
Dec 11, 2002, 12:15 PM
Hey all
I LOVE these things!!! At work, I have to drive between buildings (a total of 4-6 miles a day), the longest drive being 2 miles one way. Something like this would be perfect for me. I have mentioned to my boss that something like this would be a good investment, because then they could cut out my gas allowance. However, he merely laughs at me. Now, if the price comes down to about $500 or so, I could probably buy one myself, use it at work, and still collect my gas allowance :D :D

Nipsy
Dec 11, 2002, 12:23 PM
Oddly enough, San Francisco, which is small enough to be completely navigated by Segway, has banned them.

I guess they are too mainstream to get the attention of our vocal bicycle rights groups, and too alternative to be permitted by our vocal seniors.

On the subject of safety, there was more thought put into the safety of this device than the bicycle, roller skate, Razor scooter, etc. Kamen has extensive experience in both medical and accessibility designing, both fields where safety is paramount. A postman may have broken an ankle on one, but I would assume several postmen have also broken their ankles walking, kicking dogs, and getting out of the Jeep. It just wasn't newsworthy....

chicagdan
Dec 11, 2002, 12:28 PM
Originally posted by Nipsy
Oddly enough, San Francisco, which is small enough to be completely navigated by Segway, has banned them.

Chicago had to amend its city ordinance last year to permit this Segway, the amendment passed. As much as I love SF, it doesn't surprise me that they banned it. SF citizens would ban the car if they could get away with it.

howard
Dec 11, 2002, 01:44 PM
the segway...making a lazy world even lazier...

if these ever make it mainstream i can imagine myself bursting a gut laughing when i see an owner of a segway going out for his/her excersize jog.

JUST WALK! its saves you money and is enviromently consious plus it keeps you in shape!

chicagdan
Dec 11, 2002, 01:47 PM
Originally posted by howard
the segway...making a lazy world even lazier...


But even you have to admit that there are distances that are too short to drive and too long to walk. If the Segway is used to eliminate walking, I agree with you, it would be stupid. But if it were used to cut down on driving, it would be worthwhile.

lmalave
Dec 11, 2002, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by howard
the segway...making a lazy world even lazier...

if these ever make it mainstream i can imagine myself bursting a gut laughing when i see an owner of a segway going out for his/her excersize jog.

JUST WALK! its saves you money and is enviromently consious plus it keeps you in shape!

Yeah but sometimes you just need to get from point A to point B more quickly.

If you need to go somewhere 2 miles away, walking might get you there in 40 minutes whereas a Segway could get you there in 10. Even for shorter distances like one mile, sometimes you just want to get there in 5 minutes instead of 20, and a Segway is still far more environmentally friendly than using a car for such short distances...

lmalave
Dec 11, 2002, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by Nipsy
Oddly enough, San Francisco, which is small enough to be completely navigated by Segway, has banned them.


New York has also banned them. It's safe to say that NYC has far, far more pedestrian traffic than any other US city, and also bans RollerBlades, Razor scooters, bikes, etc. from sidewalks. Basically, the only people that will use Segway in NYC will be the same intrepid folks that brave the streets on their bikes, RollerBlades, or motorized/non-motorized scooters. There are streets with bike lanes, but they are very few, and anyway I still wouldn't feel safe in a bike lane on a Manhattan street.

chicagdan
Dec 11, 2002, 02:29 PM
I can't imagine the Segway ever working in Manhattan, the volume of pedestrian traffic is overwhelming.

Kid Red
Dec 11, 2002, 02:36 PM
Originally posted by chicagdan


What are you talking about? The REAL U.S. cities -- New York, Chicago, Boston, Philly, SF, Washington -- are all about short distance hops. I live in Chicago and have a two mile commute to work each day. It's absurd for me to drive a car that distance. I take the "L" most days, but often that isn't convenient either. (I basically have to walk 3/4 of a mile to take a train to go two miles, fairly ridiculous.) The Segway would be the perfect commuting vehicle.

What the Segway isn't good for is suburban transportation. Good. This country is too suburban anyway -- the result of urban planning built around the automobile. Segway-like devices that encourage short hauls will encourage greater urban development.

Now if we could only ban the SUV, we'd be well on our way to becoming independent from evil nations like Saudi Arabia and significantly reducing air pollution.

What he's saying unless you live downtown in a US city, your commute is 10 minutes +. I'm from Miami, now in Orlando and lived in NC as well. These cities and others too do not have apratments downtown. They have out skirts like 10 minutes +. Only the big cities have residence downtwon or very close to that. Never have I lived closer then 30 minutes from downtown because usually the outer ring of residence is low income housing. A segway as cool as it is would make my trip 4 hours long a least.

Luckily, I work at home.

Thanatoast
Dec 11, 2002, 03:48 PM
NY,Chicago, Boston, Philly, SF, Washington - all cities that were first developed before the invention of the car.

Before the Segway will take off there will have to be a major attitude change on the part of city planners and commerical developers. The redevelopment of old Stapleton Airport in Denver is structured in this retro-small town style. Guess we'll see if it takes off. (no pun intended)

Timothy
Dec 11, 2002, 04:54 PM
I think the Segway is a future city planner's dream vehicle. It will be difficult using it in all situations. I think there is a market for the scooter, but the price point will have to drop to $1k. At that price point, it becomes competitive to the scooter market in general. I live in Seattle, and I can think of lot's of people who might use this type of transportation; especially since we are very lacking in mass transit anyways, but have lot's of in-city living.

I am keeping my eye on the progress of these things. I think they will prove a success, even if it's not to the degree that the hype of their release promised.

daniel77
Dec 11, 2002, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by Timothy
I think the Segway is a future city planner's dream vehicle. It will be difficult using it in all situations. I think there is a market for the scooter, but the price point will have to drop to $1k. At that price point, it becomes competitive to the scooter market in general. I live in Seattle, and I can think of lot's of people who might use this type of transportation; especially since we are very lacking in mass transit anyways, but have lot's of in-city living.

I am keeping my eye on the progress of these things. I think they will prove a success, even if it's not to the degree that the hype of their release promised.

i live in seattle too :D

railthinner
Dec 11, 2002, 05:57 PM
I find the technology in the segway fascinating, but this thing (below) is far more practical especially whn you're looking at your wallet.

http://www.egocycle.com

then of course there's the zappy style of scooters. They're more affordable and I think as the technology comes along, squeezing out more power:battery storage:battery efficiency they'll become more popular. these things have been available for a long time and I don't see hundreds of people riding around Chicago on them.

SUV's
suburbs
car culture..... bah. wake up **********:mad:

dabirdwell
Dec 11, 2002, 09:49 PM
Lucky you

funkywhat2
Dec 11, 2002, 10:42 PM
Originally posted by chicagdan


What are you talking about? The REAL U.S. cities -- New York, Chicago, Boston, Philly, SF, Washington -- are all about short distance hops. I live in Chicago and have a two mile commute to work each day. It's absurd for me to drive a car that distance. I take the "L" most days, but often that isn't convenient either. (I basically have to walk 3/4 of a mile to take a train to go two miles, fairly ridiculous.) The Segway would be the perfect commuting vehicle.

What the Segway isn't good for is suburban transportation. Good. This country is too suburban anyway -- the result of urban planning built around the automobile. Segway-like devices that encourage short hauls will encourage greater urban development.

Now if we could only ban the SUV, we'd be well on our way to becoming independent from evil nations like Saudi Arabia and significantly reducing air pollution.

While I cannot say that an SUV doesn't consume gas like there's no tomorrow (14 MPG in my dad's Tyota Sequoia) I can argue the air pollution. Even without environmental controls, most new SUV's are rated LEV or better - which can't be said for all cars. In fact, the number one cause of air pollution is poorly maintained autos - not ones that use more fuel than others. 90% of the greenhouse gases in America are caused by 10% of the cars. Once I can find the link to where I read that, which I can assure you was not the New York Times (such crap, total crap) I will post it here.

Speaking of crap - how about that Segway? If they dropped the price, maybe I'd buy one instaed of my iBook. And that's a BIG maybe.

medea
Dec 12, 2002, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by chicagdan


I've heard that complaint and it's legitimate. When you walk, you get used to a certain pace and looking people in the eyes to see what direction they are going. We don't have rear-view mirrors to give us advance warning of a segway approaching. It's entirely possible that this device will be a failure for that reason alone.

I do think, however, that Kamen is on to something and that a low-powered, personalized people mover has an important place in transportation policy. We may eventually have to create new traffic lanes for devices like these. I'm willing to take the risk -- introduce a few into the environment and see if we can accommodate them.

whats the difference between a segway sharing the sidewalk with you and a person on a bike? none.