2009 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS)
How much marketing spiel from General Motors is this, and how much of it is their design?
It seems that the only part of the Personal Urban Mobility and Accessibility, or PUMA, project that General Motors is developing is the communications network that would allow vehicles to interact with each other, regulate the flow of traffic, and prevent crashes from happening.
Chris Borroni-Bird, director of Advanced Technology Vehicle Concepts at GM, talked about the PUMA, telling me about the lithium-ion battery, the time it takes to charge the bare two-seater vehicle. He told me how many miles it could go, and that the current PUMA would be more for emerging markets than the United States.
Then I ran into Lloyd, a technician from Segway. He told me that this was Segway’s design, Segway’s battery. He told me that when fully depleted the PUMA would take ten hours to recharge (instead of the 3 hours Borroni-Bird said). The technology that enables balancing is proprietary to Segway. It is that technology that allows the maneuverability (true zero turning radius), and a small footprint.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the advanced technology of vehicle to vehicle and wireless technology to avoid traffic backups and navigate cities, but when I saw this I thought it contained General Motors advanced technology for fuel-efficiency.
Am I wrong?