NEW YORK: Segway is ending production of its two-wheeled personal transporter vehicle that gained popularity among tourists and some police forces but found itself embroiled in mishaps.
The company will stop manufacturing the Segway PT starting July 15 launched nearly two decades ago, as it shifts focus to other units such as its shared scooter business.
The model accounted for less than 1.5% of the company’s revenue last year. Two other models, the Segway SE-3 Patroller and the Segway Robotics Mobility Platform will also stop production.
The brainchild of inventor Dean Kamen, the original Segway model carries one user standing on a small platform between two side-by-side wheels. Leaning slightly forward moves the scooter forward, leaning back reverses course and turns are made by twisting the handle.
The company has also been at the centre of various high-profile crashes, including the toppling of Jamaican speedster Usain Bolt during his victory lap by a Segway-bound cameraman in 2015.
In 2003, former United States President George Bush was also famously captured on film falling off his Segway.
In April 2015, Chinese transportation robotics firm Ninebot acquired the company after a patent infringement complaint.
The company has since branched out into electric scooters and has become the largest supplier for scooter-sharing companies such as Bird and Lime.