For a variety of reasons, Segway's original personal transporter never really took off, but the fact that you had to stand on it wasn't one of them. Nevertheless, Segway's newest S-Pod solves that vexing problem, by letting you sit in a cocoon-like shell that balances itself on two wheels as you scoot around at speeds up to 24 miles per hour.
Unlike the original Segway, though, S-Pod riders don't have to lean forward or back to control the S-Pod's movements. Rather, a joystick and navigation display provide control of the unit. A small wheel in the front of the S-Pod makes it easier for riders to exit and leave the vehicle, though Segway's S-Pod announcement didn't specifically mention that the rideable is meant for those with disabilities.
Also not mentioned: what the S-Pod will cost and when it will be available.
The S-Pod will be on display at CES 2020 next week, during which time we'll try and take it for a spin. At the show, Segway will also have a number of other electric scooters and bikes on display.
More Segway vehicles at CES 2020
- Ninebot eScooter: Available in five models, the top-end version of this electric scooter will have a top speed of 62.1 mph and a range of up to 124 miles. It can accelerate from 0-24 mph in four seconds, and has front and rear ABS brakes.
- Ninebot KickScooter Air T15: This foldable electric scooter will sell for $800, but is a light 22 pounds. Unlike most electric scooters, which have a throttle, the T15 will automatically adjust its speed based on road conditions. If you want to go a little faster, you merely have to use your foot to kick it. It has a 300-watt motor but a somewhat small range of about 9 miles, though regenerative braking will add a little juice back.
- Ninebot KickScooter T60: This scooter, made for the ride-sharing industry, has a reverse-tricycle chassis. According to Segway's press release, this "roboscooter... allows the operator to move several scooters at once through a cloud system to supply the constant shifts in demands at any given time and place."
Segway also plans to show off a concept electric motorcycle, the Ninebot Apex, which the company says has a top speed of 124 mph (200 km/h).
Practicality of the S-Pod aside, Segway's expansion of its product lines is further indication that electric scooters and mopeds seem to be gaining more traction.
Be sure to check out our CES 2020 hub for all the latest CES news and hands-on impressions from the world's biggest tech show.