The Segway PT for Segway
Personal Transporter (formerly called Segway HT) is a Segway, ie a single-seat
electric vehicle, consisting of a platform equipped with two wheels on which
the user stands standing, a gyroscopic stabilization system and a handle for
holding and driving.
There are two
generations of Segway PT Segway:
The first generation,
introduced in December 2001 and whose commercialization ended in 2006.
The second generation,
introduced in August 2006. These are the currently available models.
There are two main
differences between the first and the second generation:
The first generation had a handle that turned
on itself to turn the Segway PT. To turn right, you had to turn the handle to
the right, and vice versa).
The second generation has seen a technology
called LeanSteer that makes it possible to turn the Segway PT when the user
leans his body to the side. For that, it is enough that it leans while holding
the handlebars, and the column / handlebar assembly leans with him, which makes
it possible to give a command of direction. This technology eliminates the effects
of lateral imbalances (roll) caused by soil irregularities.
The first generation had a set of three
ibutton type keys to start the Segway PT. With the second generation appeared
the InfoKey controller, sort of wireless remote control that allows:
to start and turn off Segway PT
to have information on the journey traveled
(time, date, instantaneous speed, average speed, number of kilometers traveled,
total number of kilometers)
to change the maximum speed allowed
Activate Segway PT’s Segway Alarm System.
explains this missed appointment? Probably largely the prices charged by
Segway. More than 6000 dollars for a machine … We are very far from a model
allowing the quidam to equip itself! In this context, only the pioneers have invested.
Even today, Segway remains positioned on an elitist price range, which probably
dissuades the general public. The product is very clever. It works well. The
level of press and TV exposure was discussable. But some reasons for its
failure could also be:
The Expectations were too high, Segway was described as the future of transport. As an innovation it was
said to be in line with the PC or the internet. Exposure is generally useful
but it was overdone. It was a product not
a solution. The product works well but it lacked a support context.
Also where can you park it? How do you charge it? Do you use it on roads or
sidewalks? Our cities are designed for pedestrians or speedy vehicles and this
was neither so it had no proper infrastructure to support it. No clear need or target market.
Who was the target market? Who really needed this? The Segway was patented and
kept under wraps until its launch. There was no user feedback or iteration in
the process. Its inventors were then surprised when people criticised or
ridiculed the design for being ‘dorky’ rather than cool. Regulation, the Segway fell foul
of regulation in many countries where it was banned from sidewalks and roads
because it did not fit any existing categories. This is a problem for a truly
revolutionary product, but it was not properly anticipated.
Most successful innovations
involve some degree of iteration, experimentation, openness and collaboration.
They need an eco-system to support them. They target users who need the
benefits they offer. A radical invention with ample backing still needs to gain
market acceptance. It is an uphill path and that path proved too steep for the