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CES: Segway whirrs into mobile future on S-Pod

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Today at CES in Las Vegas, Segway-Ninebot will try to make up for the damp squib that is the original Segway Transporter. It will unveil the Segway S-Pod, a smart transporting pod for enclosed campuses such as airports, theme parks and malls. 

It is described as “a safe, self-balancing vehicle that is operated by an intuitive assistive navigation panel”. Most observers have pointed out that it looks like the floating chairs in the animated movie Wall-E, implying a sedentary future for all while they are being entertained. However, the intention is transport rather than relaxation.

“With an adaptive centre-of-gravity automatic control system, passengers can easily adjust the speed – up to 24 mph – by handling the knob to change the centre of gravity in the pod,” said Segway-Ninebot in an announcement ahead of the event. “The S-Pod spins and rotates by the centre smoothly for directional changes. The rider does not need to physically lean forward and back to accelerate or slow down. Also, since the ‘brake’ is placed by the shift of the centre of gravity, it eliminates the possibility of the S-Pod tipping over in any situation.”

The seating of the S-Pod offers wide-angle views that provides an expansive viewing field of passengers. 

The announcement was imbued with a heavy sense of deja vu:  “The S-Pod is also the first step in Segway working towards their goal of bringing new transportation options to cities.”

That is almost precisely how the original Segway device was described. With a fundamental difference. The product was inspired by the Gyrosphere vehicles in Jurassic World.

Since the original transporters, Segway-Ninebot has re-positioned itself in short distance transportation, and has been a technology leader in the urban scooter revolution.

Luke Gao, CEO of Segway-Ninebot, said: “Segway-Ninebot has established itself as a category leader in short distance transportation solutions, from innovative delivery robots to kickscooters now used in cities across the world. We are changing the way people move from place to place. With an eye towards the future of how cities will evolve, as well as the mobility needs in the off-road space, we are notching up our offerings heading into 2020 so that they will fulfill the mobility needs and expectations of the world of tomorrow.”

The Segway S-Pod will be introduced at Segway’s CES booth # 25602 at Las Vegas Convention Center today, January 7, at 11am PT (9pm South African time).

The Segway S-Pod is a first-class smart transporting pod for enclosed campuses such as airports, theme parks and malls. It is a safe, self-balancing vehicle that is operated by an intuitive assistive navigation panel. With an adaptive center-of-gravity automatic control system, passengers can easily adjust the speed – up to 24 mph – by handling the knob to change the center of gravity in the pod. The S-Pod spins and rotates by the center smoothly for directional changes. The rider does not need to physically lean forward and back to accelerate or slow down. Also, since the “brake” is placed by the shift of the center of gravity, it eliminates the possibility of the S-Pod tipping over in any situation. The seating of the S-Pod offers wide angle views that provides an expansive viewing field of passengers. The S-Pod is also the first step in Segway working towards their goal of bringing new transportation options to cities. Segway S-Pod is equipped with remote control system through the detachable built-in pad. Another interesting tidbit—the Jurassic World Gyrosphere serves as the inspiration for this product. 

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