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Segway and GM Collaborate on Eco-Friendly Transportation

January 15, 2008

The electrically powered Saturn Flextreme integrates an onboard storage and charging system for two Segway Personal Transporters.


DETROIT /PRNewswire/ -- At the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), Segway Inc. and General Motors (GM) are showcasing a comprehensive solution for eco-friendly mobility—the Saturn Flextreme concept car, with integrated Segway Personal Transporters (PTs). The Flextreme is built on GM's global E-Flex electric drive architecture that was debuted by the Opel brand at the 2007 Frankfurt Auto Show last October. The Flextreme design is the first functional automotive concept that integrates an onboard storage and charging system for two Segway PTs.

"Segway is committed to developing safe, clean, innovative products that are redefining transportation for consumers and businesses," said Jim Norrod, Segway's Chief Executive Officer. "The Flextreme concept with integrated Segway PTs is a great example of the evolution of transportation."

The two Segway PTs housed in the concept's FlexLoad cargo space operate on the same balancing technology used in the well-known personal transporters available today. Using Segway Smart Motion—a unique combination of sensors, propulsion, and intelligence—the Segway PT balances in place and moves in response to the way the rider moves his or her body forward, backward, left, or right.

Special adjustments have been made to the Segway PT prototypes for easy loading and unloading into the Flex-Load cargo space. The tire diameter and track width were optimized to fit inside the vehicle and the prototypes have a unique exterior design to match the look and feel of the Flextreme, making them a cohesive part of this integrated transportation solution. Most notably, these Segway PT units have retractable handlebars that allow for more compact storage. Built into the Flex-Load cargo area are ramps used to load and unload the Segway PTs. The Segway PT units attach to a docking station inside the cargo space, where they recharge while the Flextreme batteries charge.

"Saturn has a legacy of environmental responsibility, so products like this Flextreme concept, with its integrated Segway PTs, showcase our continued pursuit of consumer-focused, green technologies," said Jill Lajdziak, Saturn's General Manager.

"The Segway and GM teams worked closely to integrate the Segway PT into the Flextreme's functionality and innovative design," said Doug Field, Segway's Chief Technology Officer. "It was a collaboration that resulted in one package with both short- and long-distance transportation solutions."

Like the Flextreme, the Segway PT is electrically powered and does not produce emissions during operation. Powered by two lithium-ion batteries, the Segway PT typically takes eight to ten hours to charge at a 110/220 V outlet and consumes about one kilowatt hour of energy while recharging.

Considering a rider can travel up to 24 miles on one battery charge, the Segway PT consumes .0.052 kW hours per mile on average. The production of 52 watt-hours of electricity creates 0.081 lbs. of carbon dioxide—that is 70%–80% less than the emissions created by other individual transportation devices, such as gas-powered scooters or motorcycles, respectively. Moreover, the Segway PT is four to five times more energy efficient than a motorcycle or scooter.

The Saturn Flextreme concept with Segway PT prototypes will be on display at the NAIAS Jan. 14 - 27, 2008 at the Cobo Hall Convention Center in Detroit.

About Segway
Segway Inc. develops intelligent motion control technology known as Segway Smart Motion that is embedded in the light electric transportation devices it manufactures, such as the well-known Segway PT. Segway Smart Motion provides intelligent motion control that enables a device to monitor its environment, control its motion, and make decisions about how it should move.

The company's line of Segway Robotic Mobility Platforms offers reliable, durable mobility solutions for robotic applications.

Segway Inc. has a worldwide distribution network of more than 350 retail points in 80 countries. For additional information about Segway and to find retail locations, please call 1-866-4SEGWAY.


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