Friday, April 17, 2009

PUMA Concept

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!


  1. Hi Pete .. it looks a little like a take on the BMW covered bike - am I right? C class is it?

    Anyway re the PUMA .. are you telling me that if I drive out and see an aged aunt & then need to recharge .. I have to spend 3 hours waiting?! A bit much I think?!

    The other point is .. we'll need seat belts for the shopping!! Also I'll need a sideways umbrella or perhaps two if I'm kind to my shopping or generously my passenger!!

    Still it's yet another development and I'd rather go in a PUMA to see my uncle 15 miles away .. than walk!!

    I'd love to have a go .. all the best
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters

    Interesting idea ..

  2. Hi Hilary,

    It might look like the BMW covered bike! But it is a totally different vehicle. I rode on a was cool you lean forward and it is propelled then you lean back and it will stop.

    This is going to the be the future. Electric cars of all types will be on the roads. The reasons are the energy crisis and the global warming.

    For short errands it will work ok! Safety would be an issue for me until they can get the electronic driving systems set up.

    Thank you for your comment! To the future!

    Pete Baca
    The Car Enthusiast Online

  3. Hello Peter, I have to drive the "Smart" car at work when I need to do deliveries. I am not to fond of it. The wind blows you all over the road. this would be worse I think. I do not know if I want one thank you.
    Dan and Deanna "Marketing Unscrambled"

  4. Hi Pete

    The PUMA looks too funny for me to want to drive it, beside I am not sure I will will safe in it.
    Very interesting things, just not for me :-)May be I am too old school!?
    Thank you for sharing.
    Giovanna Garcia
    Imperfect Action is better than No Action

  5. Hello Dan & Deanna,

    The reason that I brought up the PUMA is that I think it is going to be one of the many different types of electric vehicles that will be coming out over the next several years. I could see the PUMA is in highly congested areas, college campuses, business parks etc.

    It is not my cup of team either but we will see them become much more popular. If the price of gas goes up like I think it is going to, then they will sell like hotcakes.

    Thank you for your comments!

    Pete Baca
    The Car Enthusiast Online

  6. Hi Giovanna,

    The styling did not impress me either! This will be a ground breaking vehicle in the U.S. I would have thought it would be more popular in other parts of the world.

    I agree safety is a big issue with this vehicle since it weighs 300 lbs. Once they develope a system to control all the cars, then accidents will be much less of an issue.

    GM experimented with a system to control cars in the late 80's, which would work on freeways. But, that has since been dropped. It will take a twenty years or more before we have systems like that which would reduce or minimize accidents.

    Thank you for commenting!

    Pete Baca
    The Car Enthusiast Online

  7. Hi Pete,

    PUMA looks like San Francisco sightseeing electric Go-cart. It was more than 10 years ago when I first saw Segway's 2 wheelers in Computer Show in Las Vegas. It looked very unstable. I cannot be confident on the stability and safety. But as you say this will be the future replacing cars, bicycles, motor bikes. Interesting. Thank you for your information.

    Shaw Funami
    Fill the Missing Link

  8. Hello Shaw,

    Yes, those would be perfect examples in which to use this vehicle. I don't know that I would call it a car yet.

    I road on a Segway during a tour when we were in Florida. Once you get use to it is not a problem. I thought it was a fun ride!

    Safety is always an issue when you get smaller and lighter!

    Thank you for your comments!

    Pete Baca
    The Car Enthusiast Online