So, by 2015 I think the inventor of the Segway imagined that he would be stinking rich and that most people would be riding around on them. Clearly that hasn’t happened though and this is about looking at a few reasons why.
I think the first and most obvious reason is that they are heavy and not particularly easy to move around on. This has been highlighted by accidents with very high profile users of the “personal transporter”. In 2003, the President of the United States, George Bush (I’m pretty happy he fell off) was caught on camera falling of his Segway while he was on a family holiday. Then in 2007 Piers Morgan (OK nowhere near as high profile but still quite famous, and another wally, so bit of a theme going there) actually broke three of his ribs when he had an accident. Then there was the unfortunate and sad story of the owner of the Segway company, Jimi Heselden having an accident which resulted in him falling down a 30ft cliff and into a river, causing his death. He was a kind hearted charity man and very different from the other two examples!
With these kinds of incidents you are hardly exerting confidence in a product and as far as “personal transportation” goes, they were never going to work. The range is not good enough and the just look rather stupid. I can see there application in places such as airports as actually quite good, where people are using their feet all of the time and sometimes have to get to another part of the airport very quickly, and the airport buggies are very large, whist the Segway is quite nimble compared.
Join me next time for a bit more on the topic!