Segway Will End Production of Two-Wheeled Transporter

Production of the Segway PT, the world's first and only upright, battery-powered personal transporter, will end as of next month amid sagging demand.
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After more than two decades, Segway is ending production of its upright, two-wheeled, battery-powered namesake personal transport vehicle.

The Segway PT, popular with tourists and police officers but also known for some high-profile crashes, will be retired on July 15, the company said in a statement.

The upright two-wheeled machine, rolled out in 1999 with much fanfare about the future of personal transport, was touted as the next wave of efficient, not to mention environmentally friendly, transportation.

But the revolution that inventor Dean Kamen envisioned never happened thanks to the machine's hefty $5,000 original price tag and, more importantly, the challenge of riding and controlling the wide-platform machine. 

While the PT also gained in popularity with tourists, Segway sales accounted for less than 1.5% of the company's revenue last year, according to Segway President Judy Cai.

The Segway i2 SE PT

The Segway i2 SE PT

The company said 21 employees will be laid off, another 12 employees will stay on for two months to a year and five will remain at the Bedford, N.H., facility.  

To be sure, the Segway is known as much for its unusual approach to personal transport as it is for its high-profile crashes, most notably one involving British millionaire Jim Heselden, who died in 2009 after the Segway he was riding careened off a 30-foot cliff not far from his country estate north of London. 

Heselden's unfortunate death was particularly newsworthy as it happened just 10 months after the 62-year-old had bought the company.

As for Segway itself, the company will continue to focus on other personal-transport machines, including scooters, which it branched out to in 2017, as well as the Ninebot S1, a battery powered portable unicycle.