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Tuesday, 07 April 2009 15:24

GM and Segaway unveil PUMA Featured

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According to General Motors Corp. and Segway Inc., the solution to the world's urban transportation problems could do away with four wheels, with the development of a two-wheeled, two-seat electric vehicle designed to be a fast, safe, inexpensive and clean alternative to traditional cars and trucks for cities across the world that both are collaborating on. The Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility, or PUMA, project also would involve a vast communications network that would allow vehicles to interact with each other, regulate the flow of traffic and prevent crashes from happening. The 300-pound prototype runs on a lithium-ion battery and uses Segway's characteristic two-wheel balancing technology, along with dual electric motors. It's designed to reach speeds of up to 35 miles-per-hour and can run 35 miles on a single charge. Ideally, the vehicles would also be part of a communications network that through the use of transponder and GPS technology would allow them to drive themselves. The vehicles would automatically avoid obstacles such as pedestrians and other cars and therefore never crash. As a result, the PUMA vehicles would not need air bags or other traditional safety devices and include safety belts for "comfort purposes" only. via.