The iconic self-balancing Segway is ending production in July
End of an era.
Growing up, the two-wheeled, self-balancing Segway was iconic. It really did feel like the future. Now, 19 years after its initial release, Segway is ending production of the motorized vehicle, according to a new report from Fast Company.
First released in 2001, the Segway made waves as the future of transportation, with Steve Jobs even saying that it could be as big as the PC. That said, it never made the splash it was expected to. Instead, it was relegated to the ranks of Segway city tours, with adoption numbers never reaching critical mass. To date, the company has sold approximately 140,000 units. Fast Company notes that initially, Segway hoped to sell 100,000 units in the first 13 months.
Hindsight is 20/20, of course, but Segway’s shape definitely played a role in low adoption numbers. Unlike today’s electric scooters, which can easily be stored, Segway’s were bulky, making them more of a novelty than a true means of transportation for crowded cities. That said, the two-wheeled machines definitely helped bring other self-balancing and electric transportation methods into the limelight.
According to Fast Company, the manufacturing facility in Bedford, Newe Hampshire will stop production on July 15. 21 employees will be laid off, with another 12 people staying on temporarily to handle warranties, repairs, and more. The five employees currently working on the company’s Discovery scooters will continue to work.
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