Urban Transport

The classic Segway personal transporter will cease production in July

The classic Segway personal tr...
The classic Segway is being discontinued
The classic Segway is being discontinued
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The classic Segway is being discontinued
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The classic Segway is being discontinued

One of the most iconic inventions of the 21st century is about to be retired. Segway’s namesake self-balancing scooter, the Segway PT, will officially cease production next month. It’ll no doubt leave a lasting legacy – albeit probably not the one the company intended.

According to Fast Company, the last Segways will awkwardly roll off the production line on July 15. After that, 21 employees will unfortunately lose their jobs, while 12 others will remain to handle warranties, repairs and other services for existing Segway customers.

The reasoning is not entirely unexpected – Segways just weren’t selling. Amazingly, only about 140,000 units total were ever sold in the almost 19 years they were available. By the end, they reportedly only accounted for about 1.5 percent of revenue for Segway’s parent company Ninebot.

A prohibitive price tag is largely to blame for that. The general public didn’t want to spend US$5,000 on an awkward vehicle that crawled along at 10 mph (16 km/h). Instead they ended up limited to the realms of tour groups, security patrols, and workers at huge factories and facilities.

The namesake product may be gone, but the brand itself is here to stay. The Segway name is still plastered all over a range of vehicles like scooters, go-karts, throne-like pods, autonomous robots, and even a set of self-balancing rollerblades.

The legacy of the Segway PT will also no doubt stick around. Pop culture latched onto the air of utter dorkiness its riders exuded, immortalized as the vehicle of choice for Paul Blart: Mall Cop and “Weird Al” Yankovic in the White & Nerdy video. Those images will last a lifetime.

In a more positive light, the Segway did pave the way for the booming industry of urban mobility and last-mile transport options.

Vale, Segway PT. We hardly knew ye.

Source: Segway/Ninebot via Fast Company

8 comments
Erg
R.I.P - Ginger, IT, Segway. Remember the incredible hype and speculation that surrounded it pre-release. It was going to change the world..in some way.
zeev
zombies...28 years later. who knew this nonsense would last so long.
pete89
Twenty year run for a dumb hyped-up product is about right. But what's the new dumb hyped-up thing that we can buy?
Colt12
One of those products that come and go. Price was the killer in this case.
ArdisLille
Whew. THAT'S over. Now I can get back to my list of 1,456 things I don't want to do before I die.
guzmanchinky
I think it paved the way for self balancing devices of all kinds. I will miss them, especially the off road versions on tours...
Kevin Ritchey
One good thing did come from the commercial attention for such self-balancing vehicles: products that aided the physically disabled. Hope that never changes.
Worzel
Perhaps the same technology can be incorporated into wheelchairs, to make them safer and easier to manoeuvre for those that use them.