Yesterday Segway and GM introduced the Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility machine, or PUMA, and some of you thought that we didn't give it a fair shake. Today, at the New York International Auto Show, I got to hop into one of the two-seater Segways for a ride. GM didn't let me drive the PUMA, but given how different it is to drive from a real car, that's probably a good thing.
As you can see in the picture, this thing is tiny. In fact, I had to leave my backpack on the sidelines, since there was no place to put it. But the ride itself? it was pretty awesome. Scary? Yes. It was kind of like driving around in the gondola of a Ferris wheel. Because it drives on two wheels instead of four (like a Segway), there's a lot of tipping and tilting involved. But it was way more fun than taking a ride in a golf cart or Smart car.
While it's unlikely to save GM from bankruptcy, and certainly should never share the road with an SUV, we hope that GM and Segway make some more PUMAs, even if it's just so people can use them on golf courses, or for a ride-between-rides at an amusement park.