Using a Segway as your primary mode of transportation was never cool, but the occasional Segway tour while exploring a new destination did have its merits. Now, Segways are about to become relics of the past. Segway has decided to end production of its original two-wheeled vehicle after nearly 20 years, due to a lack of demand and a history of safety issues.
The vehicle was plagued by problems from the start. The initial price tag was $5,000, which was too steep for many consumers. Because the rider had to be balanced at a certain angle, Segways also proved difficult to ride, and often resulted in crashes and injuries.
The most high-profile Segway accident is certainly the death of Jimi Heselden, owner of the company, who died at age 62 in 2009 after he fell off a cliff while riding the vehicle. The very visible collision between athlete Usain Bolt and a cameraman on a Segway in 2015 during the World Championship didn’t help the two-wheeler’s reputation either.
As of July 15, Segway manufacturing at the Bedford, NH, plant will cease, 21 employees will be laid off immediately, and 12 will stay on temporarily to handle warranties and repairs. Five employees, however, will remain to work on Segway Discovery scooters.