Aug 3, 2011

GM & Segway Build A Smarter Smart Car

I used to work at Fenway Park, which is pretty sweet in and of itself.  Cherry on top?  I had a Segway in my office so that I could get around the park faster.  I'm not gonna lie, I miss my Segway.  Most people have probably only ever seen them in use by security guards and dorky tour groups, but I challenge you to ride one for ten minutes and not want to zip all over town.  They're absurdly fun.

Now the makers of Segway have teamed up with GM to bring us the Electric Network Vehicle, or EN-V.  Using GPS and the same self-balancing technology as Segway's scooters, this two person pod-car actually steers and parks itself.  Not only that, but they've developed smartphone apps so that you can literally signal the car to meet you at your current position.  Imagine, no more wandering mall parking lots weighed down with shopping bags and trying to remember where the hell you parked.  And, of course, the car is able to avoid other autos and objects to prevent collisions.

There are still a few bugs to work out though.  For example, the EN-V can't drive in rain or snow, nor can it handle hills at all, thus ruling out San Francisco and all of New England.  Also, the GM is not yet satisfied with the GPS technology, which has a margin of error of roughly ten feet.  Obviously that could pose some practical problems.  I'm imagining you standing outside a restaurant and signaling the car to pick you up and instead the car smashes through the side of the building.

GM has the EN-V touring auto shows this summer, and they're estimating roughly another ten years before it's ready to hit the streets.


  1. A) This could be pretty awesome.
    B) I just laughed out loud picturing this jumping a curb and going through a window at Legal Sea Foods. (Why Legal's? I don't know. Don't ask questions.)

  2. Part of what makes the Segway fun is that you drive it yourself. This contraption takes that out of the equation thus sucking the fun out of it.

    Anyway, I'm diggin' the blog, Daley.