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GM and Segway Join Forces for Two-Wheel Urban Transportation

We already knew that General Motors is so desperate that it tries to take advantage of every single possible chance to stay in business. Nevertheless, today's news shows a different face of the largest American automaker, a company which is now aiming to improve urban transportation with the help of Segway. In short terms, what the two manufacturers are trying to do is to "reinvent urban transportation" by focusing their efforts on two-seat two-wheel vehicles.

We're sure everybody heard of Segways, but General Motors says the resulting models will be more advanced and will provide higher performance corroborated with excellent energy efficiency, zero emissions, enhanced safety seamless connectivity and reduced congestion in cities.

The so-called Project P.U.M.A. (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility) established by the two partners was already demonstrated in New York City this morning.

"Project P.U.M.A. represents a unique solution to moving about and interacting in cities, where more than half of the world's people live," said Larry Burns, GM vice president of research and development, and strategic planning. "Imagine small, nimble electric vehicles that know where other moving objects are and avoid running into them. Now, connect those vehicles in an Internet-like web and you can greatly enhance the ability of people to move through cities, find places to park and connect to their social and business networks."

Just for the record, a Segway developed with the help of General Motors can travel with a maximum speed of 35 mph (that's around 56 km/h) and provide a total range of up to 35 miles (56 km) on a single charge. The vehicles combines several technologies developed by GM and Segway, including electric drive and extended lifetime batteries, dynamic stabilization (two-wheel balancing), all-electronic acceleration, steering and braking, vehicle-to-vehicle communications and autonomous driving and parking.

"We are excited to be working together to demonstrate a dramatically different approach to urban mobility," said Jim Norrod, CEO of Segway Inc. "There's an emotional connection you get when using Segway products. The Project P.U.M.A. prototype vehicle embodies this through the combination of advanced technologies that Segway and GM bring to the table to complete the connection between the rider, environment, and others."


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