Segway is zooming into the future with the S-Pod and self-balancing scooters.
TechRepublic's Karen Roby talked to Jeff Wufu of Segway at CES 2020 about its new products coming soon to help people navigate short-term transportation. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.
Jeff Wufu: This year for Segway, we are introducing multiple products. Two of them got awarded with CES Innovation Awards Honoree status, and the most kind of buzzworthy product is this guy over here. This is the Segway S-Pod. This is a first-class transporting pod made for everyone.
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Karen Roby: What do you mean by that?
Jeff Wufu: The kind of use cases we are seeing for this pod is that people can use it for enclosed campuses. This is still a concept model. But eventually, you will see it in shopping malls, you will see it in the airport. Basically, applying to Segway's vision, we want to simplify the moving of objects and people. It gives people a very comfortable experience riding around from A to B.
Karen Roby: Here behind us, we're talking about a couple of different things, too. Tell us what's here.
Jeff Wufu: You are seeing a Ninebot e-scooter. We have five different models that are basically fully electric, and it has a smart air lock system where people don't need to use a key--it's keyless. When you sit on there, it's basically unlocked, ready for you to go. Depending on the ranges, it has five different models; the biggest one you can go up to 70, 80 miles range in total on one single charge. And you also have a very big compartment, and that is very suitable for city commuting.
Over here you also have a Ninebot eMoped. This eMoped is more suitable for mid-term to long-term kind of range transportation. Essentially, it can seat two people, and it also has a moped, so you can ride it as a moped, a bicycle, and you also can ride it like a scooter.
Karen Roby: Jeff, on TechRepublic and ZDNet, we write a lot about smart cities and what's to come and what things will look like down the road for all of us as we move within our cities. Talk about how this fits into smart cities.
Jeff Wufu: At Segway, right now we are really focusing ourselves as the leader in short-distance transportation. But, for the future of smart cities, we are really seeing it can go with multiple different types of vehicles beyond just kick scooters. For example, the S-Pod is a good example of how we want to showcase how people can potentially, in the future, travel through this kind of pod. And the top speed for the Segway S-Pod is up to 24 miles per hour, and so it's pretty fast. And also for the fully electric eco-friendly e-scooters and eMopeds to fit different consumers' needs so they can travel in the city's environment; regardless of the size (small or big), they will be able to fit their needs other than kick scooters.
This year we are also launching two brand new kick scooters. One of them is the Segway Ninebot Kick Scooter Air T15; it is the most compact and lightweight kick scooter that we have ever launched. The other one is a Segway Kick Scooter T60. It is a three-wheeled kick scooter that has a reverse trike chassis, a kind of a setup where you can just go on there, and it is ready to go. And it has, we called it a robo-scooter.
With the sharing model, it has the features for the operators to use the cloud management systems to dispatch, and control the logistics of the overall dispatching for the operators.
Karen Roby: We talk a lot about cloud on TechRepublic and ZDNet. So there's a lot of cloud involvement with what's to come, too, for Segway.
Jeff Wufu: Absolutely. I think we as a company really tried to work with our partners to fit their needs regardless of the business size, being small business owners or bigger business owners. We want to provide solutions that can really help the future of the smart cities to become greener, to become cleaner, and also become more time-efficient.
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