Wednesday, April 8, 2009


What do we think of the PUMA, from GM and Segway?

NY Times story
ABC News video

I am particularly impressed by the tie-in with OnStar as a "v2v" (vehicle to vehicle) control system. To my mind, this makes the long-term PUMA concept doable, something more than a splashy gimmick that will magically disappear once GM gets its bailout money.

While not public transit, I believe Neighborhood Electric Vehicles don't require licenses to operate, so it lowers one access barrier to better transportation. I could easily see local transit agencies contracting to rent fleets of PUMAs to expand rail station ridersheds.

The major hurdle PUMA has to overcome is how they will safely mix in traffic with regular automobiles. I wonder if they could be so popular that onstreet bike lanes would have to be converted to Bike/PUMA lanes.

1 comment:

  1. Archived Comment by Iz on April 13, 2009 at 7:23am

    i like it a lot more than these stupid things, although i think anything that is going to mix with road traffic should require a license. and hard brakes, especially if it's going at 35 m.p.h. something at that speed probably shouldn't be in a bike lane.