by Michael Ho
Tue, Apr 7th 2009 10:22pm
GM and Segway have demonstrated a 2-wheeled vehicle they call PUMA (Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility). It's basically a bigger Segway that's smaller than a car, but bigger than a scooter because it seats 2 people side-by-side. Having recently visited Saigon (and seen Top Gear's Vietnam Special), I find the technological achievement of the PUMA to be absolutely ridiculous considering the time-tested utility of a 2-wheeled motorcycle (which can easily transport 2 people and zoom through insane traffic at the same time). In fact, the PUMA Project symbolizes many of the failures of the American auto industry. Instead of taking existing technologies and innovating by adapting them to suit practical needs, the PUMA Project simply takes an existing product and makes it bigger, not necessarily better. Okay, obviously, the PUMA Project is just a prototype and not meant for real world usage. But perhaps the time to show off impractical concept vehicles is not during one of the worst global recessions?
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