(Reuters) – Segway Inc is finalizing production of its two-wheeled personal transporter vehicle, which gained popularity with tourists and some police forces but was involved in mishaps with famous personalities.
Launched almost two decades ago, the company will stop manufacturing the Segway PT starting July 15, as it shifts its focus to other units, such as its shared scooter business, it said Tuesday. The model accounted for less than 1.5% of the Bedford, New Hampshire-based company’s revenue last year.
Two other models, the Segway SE-3 Patroller and the Segway Robotics Mobility Platform, will halt production in a move that will lead to 21 job cuts.
Created by inventor Dean Kamen, the original Segway model carries a user standing on a small platform between two wheels side by side. Leaning slightly forward moves the scooter forward, leaning back reverses the course, and turns are made by turning the handle.
The company has also been at the center of several high-profile crashes, including the overthrow of Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt during his victory lap by a Segway-bound cameraman in 2015. (reut.rs/2Cu8xbk)
In 2003, the former President of the United States, George Bush, was also captured in a movie that fell off his Segway.
In April 2015, Chinese transport robotics firm Ninebot acquired the company, about half a year after Segway named Ninebot in a patent infringement complaint. (reut.rs/3hTUJHn)
Since then, the combined company has branched out into electric scooters and has become the largest provider of scooter sharing companies such as Bird and Lime. (reut.rs/2NptCWL)
Neha Malara’s report in Bangalore; Edited by Maju Samuel