Segway has announced that they will be ending production of their namesake vehicle on 15 July. The two-wheeled personal transporter was popular with tourists and some police officers across the world but has also become well known for the mishaps it has caused.
“Within its first decade, the Segway PT became a staple in security and law enforcement, viewed as an effective and efficient personal vehicle,” said Judy Cai, the Segway president, in a statement.
The Segway PT was launched almost two decades ago, and at the time, the company claimed it would revolutionise personal transport. In fact, the head of Segway claimed that it “will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy.”
However, in 2009, Time Magazine listed it as one of the “10 Biggest Tech Failures of the Last Decade”.
“Segway did not understand that its price point, well above $3,000 for most models and $7,000 for some, was too high to draw a mass consumer base. The other major unforeseen problem is that the Segway was classified as a road vehicle in some countries requiring licensing, while it was illegal to use on roads in other nations. From 2001 to the end of 2007, the company only sold 30,000 units of its two-wheeled scooter,” said Time Magazine.
Its high prices and lack of consideration for logistics were not the only reason it was ridiculed. The Segway PT is also well-known for its unfortunate high-profile accidents. President George Bush fell off a Segway at his family estate in Maine, and Usain Bolt was hit, during his lap of honour, by a cameraman on a Segway.
It’s supposed to be impossible for someone to fall off a Segway, but George Bush found a way lol pic.twitter.com/PGxjIDQMfG
— Nader (@BonsaiSky) April 6, 2014
Usain Bolt vs. Segway – Audio Venezolano. pic.twitter.com/c7OmlzxfUx
— R. Fitto (@soyfitto) April 26, 2020
Last year, the standing one-passenger vehicle accounted for less than 1.5% of the company’s revenue.
According to The Verge, the coronavirus pandemic and the disruption it has caused were not factors in the cancellation of this product.
“Given our decades-long history, we recognize that this decision may come as a disappointment to our strong and loyal following among private owners, who view the Segway as one of the more innovative creations of the early 21st century,” said Cai. “We are grateful for the support and loyalty of our consumers and are proud of the impact our products have made on our customers’ lives and the reputation of the Segway brand.”