That’s the new GM/Segway prototype vehicle, the PUMA or, Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility…thingy. Whatever this hybrid vehicle eventually grows up to be, if anything, it’s battery operated and zips along at 35 mph. Obviously, this is part of almost-bankrupt General Motor’s attempt to “green up” and be part of Team Obama’s overarching and presently over-reaching program to drag reluctant Americans kicking and screaming away from our love of gas guzzling mini-tanks capable of doing righteous battle with buses and trucks on city streets in comfort. For those loath to sacrifice safety for ecology, the PUMA, a sort of windshield covered Hoveround, is supposed to be able to sense danger, Will Robinson, and…magically disappear, or something. Popular Mechanics explains it this way:
The collision avoidance tech is probably the most speculative aspect of the P.U.M.A. project. GM has long been working on vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology that should allow vehicles to communicate with each other using short-to-medium-range wireless transponders that use GPS and vehicle on-board telemetry data to avoid collisions. The idea is that if two vehicles can exchange speed, direction and position data, then one of them could make a decision to brake in an emergency situation to avoid an accident—even if that meant overriding the driver.
Gee, when you’re zipping around Manhattan, or LA, or downtown Chicago, I hope that works out for you. But really, to be honest, clean, fuel efficient transportation is probably an essential element of our continued survival on this planet, so, I’d like to nominate this vehicle from Amsterdam for consideration:
I’m only being so snarky, here. If this is the best GM can come up with, no wonder they’re insolvent. Maybe somebody should grow a pair of huevos (testicles or ovaries) and tell the freaking truth; we’re not buying GM cars ‘cuz we’re broke, and, if we did have money, we’d keep right on buying comfortable road warriors until the price of gas got too high. When that happened, we’d probably all take the bus, because the last thing any sane American wants is to do traffic battle with other American drivers without proper armour. But what I really hate is, people will think we had something to do with this, like this guy:
When I first saw this story on the wire I thought of P.U.M.A. the political organization started last year when Hillary Clinton lost the nomination. Well I was wrong it seems like GM and Segway are teaming up to make a two wheel car of sort, the GM PUMA. The Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility vehicle is a joint venture between the two to create a small urban vehicle which is fuel efficient and serves the purpose of getting people around urban areas. This may be just what the accountant ordered for GM’s lagging sales.
I’m sure that had they asked us real PUMAs for input, we could have made some improvements; like, we would have recommended that the thing fold up to the size of a suitcase so you could roll it into work and park it beside your desk, or something. I dunno about people in Detroit, but, people in the cities I’ve lived in steal, and that little thing looks like any teenagers’ irresistable temptation. Or maybe, doors, and heat would be good ideas since most major cities have…weather. But, hey, what do I know?
Cross posted @ Cinie’s World, natch.