GM Reinventing the Urban Car with…a Segway?!?

Press and News

By Kurt Gensheimer

GM Project P.U.M.A.The only thing more nerd-herdy than a gaggle of Segways touring the streets of New York City manned by touristas donning cockeyed helmets a size too large, is a sea of two-seater Segways navigating the streets of New York City as legally registered automobiles. You heard right, a Segway car. GM and Segway today announced a partnership that will not only potentially help ease urban congestion, but will also help make undeniable dorks out of each and every person who buys into the concept.

Dubbed the PUMA (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility) Project, the partnership between GM and Segway is focused on achieving an urban-focused, renewable energy-powered, zero emissions vehicle which is safe, always connected (through OnStar), affordable (perhaps), fun to drive (debatable), and the biggest befuddler…FASHIONABLE?! About as fashionable as a pair of black orthopedic shoes, perhaps.

Although the need for a compact and versatile zero-emissions urban vehicle is desperately needed in places like Karachi - the most densely-populated city on the planet with over 25,000 people per square mile – in places like New York, a vehicle like the PUMA would get you laughed right out of the parking garage. And quite honestly, most people in Karachi can hardly afford a bowl of rice, let alone a two-wheeled gyroscopic dorkmobile.

Although the Segway is an interesting idea in concept, in reality it’s just downright silly. I wish it weren’t true, but every time my eyes strike upon a Segway, with it’s strange gyroscopic positioning which requires the occupant to stand as if there’s something crammed up the backside of his trousers, I can’t help but feel bad for the occupant. And now GM is scheming to turn it into a car. God help us.

There’s got to be a better solution to our urban congestion problems. What’s wrong with a bike? Not only is it zero emissions and multitudes less expensive for poor urban dwellers, but people can actually stay healthy in the process. I think a GM executive field trip to Amsterdam is in order.

Official press release from GM after the jump:

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