S-Pod vehicle is a 'safe, self-balancing vehicle', company says
A prototype for a Segway "transporting pod" has crashed during the first public demonstrations of the vehicle.
The Segway S-Pod, which resembles a futuristic wheelchair, was on display at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Thursday when the accident occurred.
The journalist who was riding it at the time accelerated into a wall, the BBC reported, though Segway said no one was injured.
The pioneering personal transportation firm describes the S-Pod as a "safe, self-balancing vehicle that is operated by an intuitive assistive navigation panel".
It is designed to ferry people around enclosed campuses like airports, theme parks and shopping centres and can travel at speeds of up to 24mph.
Unlike other Segway vehicles, the S-Pod does not require the rider to physically lean forward or back to accelerate or slow down. It instead relies on "an adaptive centre-of-gravity automatic control system" that uses a knob to change speed and direction.
This system is inspired by the Gyrosphere featured in Jurassic World, which transports visitors around a dinosaur park.
"The seating of the S-Pod offers wide angle views that provides an expansive viewing field for passengers," states Segway press materials.
"The S-Pod is also the first step in Segway working towards their goal of bringing new transportation options to cities."
Segway did not reveal how much money was spent developing the S-Pod, which is due to be released in 2021, though previous Segway vehicles have cost up to $100 million in research and development.
The prototype demonstrated at CES is not the final version of the vehicle, with production models expected to feature a seatbelt.