The P.U.M.A., a Segway/GM experimental prototype, zipped up and down the street, turned 360 degrees on its own radius, parked in 1/3rd the space. It would go 35 miles on a single plug in charge at home and would run at up to 35 mph.
"Take two companies whose products are sort of a joke, slap them together, and here's the result: The P.U.M.A., a sort of giant, two-person Segway that is designed for commuters, with a 35-mile range from its lithium-ion batteries."
Yes it was not well received.
"GM and Segway's joint venture is probably best described as a rickshaw without all the charm. The self-balancing Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility Project (P.U.M.A.)... No word on when or if this'll actually go into production but it's expected to be priced at just 25% that of a regular automobile. "
That was then.
This is now.
GM Unveils EN-V Concept: A Vision for Future Urban Mobility
"EN-V’s platform has evolved from the platform of the Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility (P.U.M.A.) prototype that was developed by Segway and debuted in April 2009. Segway has worked collaboratively with GM to develop and deliver multiple copies of the drivetrain platform that seamlessly connect to and power the various EN-Vs.
EN-V is propelled by electric motors in each of its two driving-mode wheels. Dynamic stabilization technology empowers EN-V, giving it the unique ability to carry two passengers and light cargo in a footprint that’s about a third of a traditional vehicle. It can literally “turn on a dime” within its own operating envelope. In addition, everything in EN-V is drive-by-wire, supporting its ability to operate autonomously or under manual control. The motors not only provide power for acceleration, but also bring the vehicle to a stop.
Power for the motors is provided by lithium-ion batteries that produce zero emissions. Recharging can occur from a conventional wall outlet using standard household power, allowing EN-V to travel at least 40 kilometers on a single charge. EN-V can also improve the efficiency of the public electric infrastructure since the vehicle can communicate with the electric grid to determine the best time to recharge based on overall usage.
By combining the Global Positioning System (GPS) with vehicle-to-vehicle communications and distance-sensing technologies, the EN-V concept can be driven both manually and autonomously. "
"General Motors and its strategic partner, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. Group (SAIC), share a common vision for addressing the need for personal mobility through a radical change in personal urban transportation."