If you’ve ever seen WALL-E by Pixar Animation, you’ve probably always dreamed of having a go in one of those floating chairs. Segway has made that dream a reality with the S-pod, an electric chair that might be the future of transportation.
The S-pod might resemble something Dr. Evil or Emperor Palpatine would use as their personal means of transportation, but it was actually inspired by the Gyroshphere’s seen in Jurassic World. The idea behind showcasing the S-pod at CES 2020 is to provide the world with an idea of what the future of personalised transportation could look like once smart cities begin to take shape.
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Instead of forcing the rider to stand behind the handlebars to control the chair, like with a conventional scooter, the S-pod is operated with a round, flat joystick positioned on the armrest. To control the chair the rider simply presses the joystick in the direction they want to go and releases it when they want to slow down.
S-pod uses two large wheels to do the bulk of the driving and two smaller wheels placed at the front and back of the chair to assist in balancing the S-pod when it is in the driving position and lifting you back up when it’s time to exit the chair.
The model showcased was capped at a maximum speed of just 11 km/h, however, the final version of the S-pod will feature a top speed of 38 km/h and get you a distance of 69 km after 2 hours of charging.
Segway’s S-pod will initially be launched exclusively for commercial businesses like malls, airports, and theme parks at the end of 2020.