Is this your next ride? The Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility (PUMA) is here. PUMA is an experimental electrically powered road vehicle, created by General Motors and Segway. The car uses two wheels, which are placed side-by-side similar to one half of a car. The PUMA design transfers the two-wheeled self-balancing characteristics of a Segway PT into a vehicle that can carry two passengers side-by-side at up to 35 miles per hour (56 km/h) for a distance of up to 35 miles (56 km).
The first public prototype was demonstrated on April 14, 2009, being formally announced by General Motors in advance of its display at the New York International Auto Show. Segway's CEO and President, James D. Norrod claimed that the use of General Motors' sales network worldwide could allow for PUMA sales to exceed the number of Segway PT models sold to date.
Norrod stated that using a "Neighborhood Electric Vehicle" size of lithium-ion batter would give the PUMA a range of 35 miles (56 km), and could be recharged in about three hours at a cost of .35 US cents. The prototype weighs approximately 300 pounds (140
The vehicle uses Segway's gyroscope dynamic stabilization technology to maintain balance across two parallel wheels while driving. In addition to the main driving wheels at each side of the vehicle, there are small stabilizing wheels at both front and rear to to support the vehicle whilst parked and to limit the maximum leaning angle.
One idea proposed is that the vehicle would make use of its Global Positioning System (GPS) determined position to avoid crashes with other vehicles. The position of the vehicle would be transmitted to other vehicles using a communications technology. By all of the vehicles knowing the position of vehicles, it would allow each of the cars to drive itself to avoid obstacles including other vehicles and pedestrians. The developers claim that crash-avoidance systems would obviate the need for airbags and would include seat belts exclusively for "comfort purposes".
Information provided via Wikipedia!