So last time I had a look at some of the reasons why Segways have not become as popular as was first imagined and this time will be carrying on that theme.
So from a tech point of view the Segway really is an amazing piece of kit. It keeps its own balance due to computers and sensors and other techy stuff. It is extremely efficient when it comes to the consumption of fuel and is obviously easier to store than something like a car. The biggest problems for the Segway have come from a social stand-point and not a technological one.
They were very expensive when first released, nearly $5000, which is a lot of money for most people and you could buy a good car for that price, so that was a big issue. Even with the large price tag Segways were predicted to sell very well, but in the first 6 years they apparently sold fewer than 30,000. Which is far less than the predicted 10,000 per week!
Another problem has come in the form of policing its use. In many countries across the world they are either banned from public spaces or are only able to be used in very specific areas. In the UK for example they are completely banned from public areas and can only be used on private land with the permission of the owner. In most countries you cannot use them on roads, and some not even footpaths, so the idea of it being a “personal transporter” now looks like it was a doomed one from the start, and a little bit ill-thought out. I think marketing as a help for people in jobs that have to be on their feet a lot in large spaces would have been a more sound approach.
But they are very fun to use, you just look like a bit of an idiot!