GM, Segway Join to Reinvent Urban Transportation with Project P.U.M.A.

DN Staff

April 10, 2009

2 Min Read
GM, Segway Join to Reinvent Urban Transportation with Project P.U.M.A.

General Motors and Segway have teamed up to develop atwo-wheeled, electrically powered, two-seat prototype vehicle that will includea lithium-ion battery and dual electric wheel motors, GM officials announcedearlier this week.

The Project P.U.M.A. (PersonalUrban Mobility and Accessibility) prototype can travel up to 35 mph (56kph), has a range of up to 35 miles (56 km) between recharges and emits zeroemissions. It is aimed at reducing traffic congestion and providing a means ofcleaner, more affordable transportation in major cities, according to GM.

"Project P.U.M.A. represents a unique solution to movingabout and interacting in cities, where more than half of the world's peoplelive," says Larry Burns, GM vice president of research and development andstrategic planning.

The prototype combines several technologies from GM and Segway, including an electric drive system andbatteries, dynamic stabilization, all-electronic acceleration,vehicle-to-vehicle communications, digital smart energy management, a dockableuser interface that allows off-board connectivity, and autonomous driving andparking. The onboard connectivity technology allows vehicles to talk to eachother to avoid crashes and to drive themselves, according to GM.

"Imagine small, nimble electric vehicles that know whereother moving objects are and avoid running into them," says Burns. "Now,connect those vehicles in an Internet-like web and you can greatly enhance theability of people to move through cities, find places to park and connect totheir social and business networks."

Burns says Project P.U.M.A. vehicles could run aboutone-fourth to one-third of today's cost of owning and operating a car.

"This is what P.U.M.A. is capable of delivering," saysBurns. "Imagine moving about cities in a vehicle fashioned to your taste, that'sfun to drive and ride in, that safely takes you where you want to go andconnects you to friends and family, while using clean, renewable energy,producing zero tailpipe emissions and without the stress of traffic jams."

According to GM, the P.U.M.A. won't be commerciallyavailable until at least 2012. Cost estimates are not yet available.

The Project P.U.M.A. concept vehicle is aimed at reducing traffic congestion and transportation costs

GM, Segway Reinvent Urban Transportation A

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