back to article Segway shock army to invade Department of Transport

A shock army of Segway-borne campaigners will tomorrow make the five-minute trip from the Houses of Parliament to the Department of Transport in an attempt to convince the government that the scooters represent the future of transport. Earl Attlee, Earl Liverpool, and MPs Stephen Pound and Lembit Opik will be among those …

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Paris Hilton

what about

requiring lights and brakes for pedestrians?

Paris because she knows what to do with her legs.

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back @ dave

Yep - I'm sure they do, but when they step out into traffic from infront of a parked bendy-bus, and I'm pushing 25mph+ on a race bike (and wigh over 100kg) simple physics would prevent me from "giving-way" to said pedestrian.

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@Andrew Tyler

Obviously the revolutionary thing about the Segway is its wheels.

Sorry.

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Dead Vulture

@ By The Other Steve

Physical segregation. Too right, but from the other perspective....

There are divided pedestrial/cycle tracks near me, but narrow because all teh council did was paint a line down the middle. I have been verbally abused and even been deliberatly hit by bikes as they brush past because you are an inch on 'their' side of the path. I have stopped going to those parts of the park, because I cannot have my kids running around into the path of some 20mph "I stop for nothing 'cos its my right of way" idiot on a bike. I could 'not' take them to the park to 'not' run around, but what is a park for?

(and yes I write this as a cyclist as well as a pedestrian, but I do not think I own the road just because there is a picture of a cycle painted on it)

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Stop

Training?

I can ride a bike, I am not an excellent rider but i can ride one provided I keep my behind on the saddle and my hands on the handlebars, I don't feel safe riding on the road and never would, cars and other vehicles are simply too dangerous to be that close to on a bike IMO no matter how much training I received I would feel this way.

I am one of these "fat" people everyone keeps complaining about but would gladly ride a bke more if there was adequate provision for the casual cyclist to use it as a means of transport, if I wanted to be lazy AND felt like enduring hours, weeks and months of training for my transportation I would learn to drive, I don't, cycling is accessible to many more people but should be made moreso to people wanting to feel safer than the road will allow.

As it is I would feel much safer on a Segway which although providing no excercise seems easier, cheaper and greener than a car and much safer than cycling for road use...

People need to bare in mind that until very recently, if you got hit by a car through your own mistake then you stood little chance, for the most part this still holds true, only now are manufacturers being forced to consider pedestrian safety, so why such a big problem with the slower, lighter Segway? give me a vehicle limited by its design rather than one limited solely by how fast the person doing the peddling is, if that person happens to be a 100kg bloke doing a quarter of a ton should THAT not require licensing and registration? A segway will only do half that speed and has that low centre of gravity i mentioned before!!

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Silver badge
Boffin

I must be a geek...

"..He said: "I wanted to show they are so easy to drive that even an MP can do it. You just lean forward to speed up and back to slow down. It is a bit counter-intuitive at first,.."

Pardon me for querying this, but when you walk, don't you lean forward to speed up and back to slow down? That doesn't seem counter-intuitive to me, unless you're such a lazy git that you've never walked anywhere in your life...

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tom

Let 'em play in traffic, for all I care.

Just keep 'em out of the bike lane, or I'll be breaking out the old U lock.

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Forward Looking

There will be plenty of room for Segways when, as a prelude to the 2012 Olympics, all other privately owned transportation will be banned in London.

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Coat

Ban them!

I received a broken nose and severe bruising last month when a really fat american using one of these contraptions ran smack into me in Vienna. No insurance! I took his photo and the police nicked him and was charged with Assault. Then he skipped the country.

As a cyclist I think these things are a real menace

As for powered skateboards? They would be a big challenge to Motorcycle for the title of Mobile Organ Donor vehicles.

Mines the one with a long pointed stick in the pocket

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Segway-overpriced Toys For Tw@ts

range too short to be useful. 15 miles MAX but not at the oh so pathetic MAX speed of 12MPH. What's the range at this awesome max speed?

There's guys building motorized electric bicycles using RC airplane motors and batteries, gettting better range and higher speed for a hell of a lot less money, plus no wanky stability issues needed.

Want to see something fun? Watch a Segway deal with poor traction, on one wheel. Water on a metal grate is fun. The computer tries to balance by increasing throttle on the slipping wheel, and increases to max power if necessary. When that speed causes enough friction to finally allow the tire to grab, it's turning much faster than the computer limited 12MPH. Now visualize-one wheel stopped, the other turning at max RPM and suddenly getting traction. Computer has to try to haul down a lot of rotating mass thru braking...braking torque gets transmitted back into the axle...a quick rotational jerk added to a face plant, and there's nothing human reaction times can do to keep you standing.

The Segway is proof that a fool and his money are soon parted. A kid's kick scooter is superior. hell, those shoes with the wheel in the heel..too bad they don't come in adult sizes! Failing that, there's attaching a cordless drill to your bike...still cheaper and faster.

I do all my commuting by motorcycle. Anything that requires carrying cargo, i have an old 4 cylinder car (bought it used, how's that for recycling-well over a ton of metal and plastics!) If there's anything I need to get to that can wait for a 12MPH max speed, I'll "shanks pony" it.

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@ The Future (Daniel)

"the future for the human race?? well i picture an amorphous blob"

No, no, that's another politician, and that isn't Segway related. He has two Jags..

Keep your facts straight, please.

:-)

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Coat

And what comes after

I suppose that the MPs will be followed by a fleet of taxis or Jags to take them back for their lunch or in case of rain.

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No problems with them or cyclists...

...just as long as insurance and number-plating is mandatory.

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Re: Gimmick

And it is a lousy implementation of the idea anyway.

If we are going to have futuristic contraptions on the road, we might as well have the Bombardier Embrio. http://www.gearbits.com/archives/000336.html (Department of pre-crime at your service sir). It is much more naturally stable and much more fun.

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Happy

try one for a while before you judge

I've had a fair amount of experience on these things, and am very confident in their safety. Segways should without doubt be legalised, and I wholly support the idea that they be allowed on pavements as well as cycle lanes. People behave very differently on a segway to a bike, as you're ostensibly taking up exactly the same ground space as a pedestrian does when you're on one, in the same vertical position, which means you behave like a pedestrian. @Steve Davies sounds like the guy who ran in to you was a lawbreaking twat anyway, and him being so careless wasn't to do with the segway (if he was willing to skip the country to avoid justice). I say legalise but make sure the law heartily punishes people who use them dangerously.

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Anonymous Coward

Unblocking the gridlock...

Segways will not unblock the roads any more than the long-available scooters, mopeds, motorcycles have in the UK. Why?

They can't compete with the motor car on:

* versatility

* comfort

* capacity

* safety (for the occupants)

Twist-and-go scooters are no more difficult to drive and can actually thread through traffic more easily. Where's the advantage to the Segway over a moped/scooter using the same battery and motor technology?

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Unhappy

@Peter

"I have been verbally abused and even been deliberatly hit by bikes as they brush past because you are an inch on 'their' side of the path. I have stopped going to those parts of the park,"

For the life of me I can't imagine (apart from the aforesaid revenue grabbing) why the hell your LA would have decided to put a cycle way in a park, of all places!

Unfortunately, this type of stupidity (on the part of the LA and the idiot cyclists with bad attitudes) is all to common.

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Thumb Up

@Richard Willetts

".. cars and other vehicles are simply too dangerous to be that close to on a bike IMO"

I've been cycling on the roads for, well, lets just say since I was a child, and to date I have chalked up a total of two serious injuries, one of which was my own fault (collision with a stationary vehicle, doh!*) and the other of which I could almost certainly have avoided with a bit of forethought, even though it wasn't my fault.

It's really just about confidence and practice. By far the most important thing any cyclist should bear in mind is that vehicles have blind spots, and if you get into one, even a careful driver who is paying attention will run you over. Learn this, and you are automatically safe from most driver/cyclist collisions. Beyond that, just be aware of what's going on around you, be careful, and indicate. If you get to a difficult bit you don't like the look of, get off and walk around it. There's absolutely no shame in that.

Honestly, give it a go. Start with quiet places/times first, plan ahead, practice a bit. You'll surprise yourself, I promise.

*And yes, I did pay for the damage, after I had finished picking bits of light cluster out of my face.

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Boffin

@Segways are great

Are they now ... Have you actually tried one?

Clearly very few people commenting here have any personal experience with them.

One thing that needs pointing out - they are NOT a docile 'gliding' form of personal transport.

To use a Segway, you have to start it using a special magnetic key, and which of 3 possible keys you use configures the machine differently. Using the default 'black' key, it is a fairly easy going machine, but the blue key makes it much faster and more responsive - while the RED key makes them downright bloody dangerous because in this mode the gyro mechanism becomes extremely responsive and the machine is capable of quite high acceleration. It takes a very well developed sense of balance and excellent reaction time to even stay on them in this mode.

Quite a lot of fun in the sporty mode and pretty scary in the high performance mode - these should NOT be allowed anywhere near pedestrians in anything other than low performance mode. Remember these things have no actual brakes as such, depending entirely on the users sense of balance in order to exert braking force.

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