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GM and Segway introduce "P.U.M.A." two-wheeled, two-seat "car"

by Nick Aziz

General Motors and electric scooter maker Segway have revealed a prototype vehicle code named Project P.U.M.A. The self-balancing two-seater has just two parallel wheels. It is designed to transport two adults in a seated position, with the minimum amount of energy possible.



Along with GM's other debuts, the P.U.M.A. -- which stands for Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility -- will be on display this week at the New York Auto Show.

"Project P.U.M.A. represents a unique solution to moving about and interacting in cities, where more than half of the world's people live," said Larry Burns, GM vice president of research and development, and strategic planning. "Imagine small, nimble electric vehicles that know where other moving objects are and avoid running into them. Now, connect those vehicles in an Internet-like web and you can greatly enhance the ability of people to move through cities, find places to park and connect to their social and business networks."

The "car" is able to travel at speeds of up to 35 mph, with 35 miles between charges. Specifications of the lithium-ion battery have not been disclosed, but a full charge would likely only take a matter of minutes. Two separate electric motors coordinate together to achieve self-balancing and linkage-free steering.