Some years ago I had the pleasure of riding a Segway PT. It really is a very special, environmentally friendly, personal transportation vehicle. And although you rarely see these in Canada due to over-regulation, I feel the Segway should be included in the alternative transportation / electric vehicle mix.
I have heard a few negative things about these vehicles, so I wanted to address a couple of them here. Firstly, it is said that the Segway PT is unhealthy as it does not promote walking. Personally I think this statement shows ignorance and here is why.
It is true that the Segway PT rider stands while operating the vehicle. It is also true that the Segway PT is not an active transpiration vehicle like a pedelec. However it is much healthier to stand than sit, making the Segway PT a healthier alternative than riding an e-scooter, e-motorcycle or driving an electric car.
As for not promoting walking, the Segway PT is a fast, safe and agile personal transportation vehicle. It it not intended to be a replacement for walking any more than any other electric vehicle.
I have also heard it said that the Seaway PT should not be allowed on the sidewalk as it is incompatible with people walking. I totally disagree with this. Although the Segway PT can be used to zip about, it can also be operated at low speeds and is extremely maneuverable. You stand a much greater risk if being hit by another pedestrian texting while walking than someone operating a Segway PT.
The Segway PT offers "Dynamic stabilization". That's fancy speak for the technology that enables balancing. Because of this, it delivers incredible maneuverability (true zero turning radius), a small footprint and a fantastically unique riding experience.
It is an EV through and through, using clean and extremely efficient, electric propulsion. It dynamically switches power from wheel to wheel as needed to deliver accurate turning and a smooth ride. And like electric cars, it uses a software-based approach to traction control and braking.
What you may not know is that Segway was at the forefront of the development of Lithium Ion batteries for transportation. In fact Segway's design engineer from 1999 to 2008, Doug Field, is now VP of Vehicle Programs at Tesla. And to add a little more intrigue, Elon Musk hired Doug away from Apple in 2013, where he led development of MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac. Small world, eh?
I highly recommend you get out and try a Segway PT for yourself. You will discover like I did an intuitive, electric, personal mobility experience like no other. And as you might guess, they are a lot of fun too.