“Segway will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy.” — Dean Kamen, quoted in Time on December 2, 2001
“Ginger” (the Segway’s code name) hasnt quite lived up to the hype, but she has found a place in our world.
Rent-a-Cops (ie Paul Blart) and real cops can use them to cover their beats quicker. Tourist groups are found riding them on “walking” tours on segways in cities like Chicago, Paris, Atlanta, Berlin and Budapest.
Jeff Bezos was thrilled at the prospects as was Steve Jobs. Jobs went so far as to say “Ginger would be as significant as the PC and that cities would be architected around it.” [source]
I must admit my one and only ride on the segway was bucketlist-worthy. I loved it and I can see how people get caught up in the excitement around it.
In the end, there just isn’t enough of a mainstream gap to be filled.
So, on the 10th Anniversary, here are 10 Segway Fails:
1 Segway Inc owner, Jim Heseldman, drives Segway over a cliff and dies.
Call it irony, fate or simply an accident: in Britain, the owner of Segway died (in 2010) when he apparently drove one of the devices off a cliff near his home, The Associated Press reported. [NYT]
2 George Bush falls
Despite being hailed as a stable device, the President of the United States still found a way to face plant in 2003.
3 Banned from sidewalks
While the early heros may have said this would revolutionize city architecture, current city bylaws didn’t like the segway. It was deemed to bulky and too fast for sidewalks and many municipalities actually banned them in 2002.