“General Motors Corp. is teaming with Segway Inc., maker of the upright, self-balancing scooters, to build a new type of two-wheeled vehicle designed to move easily through congested urban streets.
The machine, which GM says it aims to develop by 2012, would run on batteries and use wireless technology to avoid traffic backups and navigate cities.
GM has slashed product-development programs, advertising and spending on auto-show events. But it will take to the streets of Manhattan on Tuesday to show off a prototype of the vehicle, called PUMA, for Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility.
GM is betting PUMA’s more car-like traits — an enclosed compartment and top speed of 35 miles per hour — will lead to better results. GM didn’t say how much the machines would cost, but research chief Larry Burns said owners would spend one-third to one-fourth of the cost of a traditional vehicle.
PUMA would have a range of about 35 miles. GM said it aims to use so-called vehicle-to-vehicle technology to avoid traffic problems and potentially have it navigate itself through city streets.”
A motorized wheelchair/popemobile combo…that’s what GM is leaning on during this volatile time for the automaker. So I guess they’ve said “fuck it” to the whole, “lets pull ourselves out of bankruptcy” plan and are just going to focus on the Snuggie-wearing, look-like-an-asshole-in-public demographic. I’m going to go ahead and say right here and now that if I see any of you in one of these things, I’m going to be hurling spears between the spokes on your tires, so if you’re riding around like a tool and hear a bunch of clanging before your chair flips…that’s what that noise was…then me laughing…then me high-fiving everyone else around me who will inevitably enjoy your plight.