While it’s not an actual scooter, this PEV is like a Hoverboard with a chair attached to it. It doesn’t actually control like a hoverboard, but it feel rather similar.
It’s quite unique, and at first glance looks like a motorized wheelchair; but Segway says that it’s a new form of urban transportation. While we’re not exactly sold on that notion, we’re curious as to what they’re trying to achieve with this interesting prototype.
The Segway S-Pod can reach speeds of up to 24 mph; but thankfully it’s limited to about 8 mph for now. That might’ve just been the showroom floor speed limit, and we might see them hitting 24 mph out in the wild eventually.
To control the S-Pod, you use a hand-knob, akin to how you’d control a motorized wheelchair; the S-Pod is self-balancing, and feels like a hoverboard that you control with your hand. If you’re going forward, the entire pod leans forward a bit, and if you’re braking, the entire pod leans back. You can stay completely motionless in the chair, unlike most other PEVs.
All in all, we’re not sold on the idea. It’s big, clunky, and takes up a lot of space. A smaller, portable and foldable e-scooter or e-bike is a far better commuting option unless. Even in traffic or on the bike lane, you’ll take up more space than a scooter, skateboard or bike.
What we really like about this prototype is that it looks very comfortable; hopefully it can be used as an actual wheelchair. Electric medical-grade wheelchairs are very serious and expensive vehicles, and if Segway-Ninebot enters the market with a quality, affordable chair, it would benefit a lot of people and their families.