Segway Inc. is ending production of the Segway PT, the big-wheeled electric device that has become popular with tourists and police officers since its debut in 2001. High profile incidents, including President Bush toppling off of one and the lack of a solid network of powersports dealers to support it resulted in the machine that was going to revolutionize human transportation never gained the traction it needed during two decades of trying.
“Within its first decade, the Segway PT became a staple in security and law enforcement, viewed as an effective and efficient personal vehicle,” said Segway’s president, Judy Cai. However transporting mall cops did not generate sufficient revenue to continue. The company will end production of the vehicles on July 15, she said.
“This decision was not made lightly, and while the current global pandemic did impact sales and production, it was not a deciding factor in our decision,” claimed Cai.
Segway is a two-wheeled, self-balancing personal transporter invented by Dean Kamen and brought to market in 2001 as the Segway HT, subsequently as the Segway PT, and manufactured by Segway Inc.. HT is an initialism for "human transporter" and PT for "personal transporter".
Over the past two decades, Segway Inc. has expanded beyond its original core product. The company has introduced a compact electric unicycle and electric roller skates. In 2017, the company moved into the electric scooter business.
Segway Inc. said that it had sold 140,000 Segway PTs since its inception, and that the vehicles accounted for less than 1.5 percent of the company’s revenue last year. Unfortunately 21 employees will lose their jobs; another dozen will remain for two months to a year and five will stay on at Segway’s manufacturing plant in Bedford, N.H., the company said.