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Every so often, I read a blog post or an article talking about the trade-off between "mobility" and making places more accessible to nonmotorists. The hidden assumption behind such statements is that "mobility" means cars going as fast as possible. So if every street is an eight-lane highway with cars going 70 miles per hour, overall social "mobility" is therefore high.
Posted today on CNN, optimistically under “SPECIAL REPORT – Detroit’s Downfall”, was a brief about GM and personal transport company Segway collaborating on a project called “Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility” (P.U.M.A.). Along with some future-thinking gush about vehicle interconnectivity are eye candy photos of the traditional Seqway chassis redesigned as a side-by-side two-seater with a degree of weather protection and other accommodations to make the vehicle a tad more practical than the original stand-up version. For those who find the Smart car a tad dumb on the bang:buck ratio but are not about to don a helmet and go the scooter route, the P.U.M.A. may offer a new market segment.