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The Segway is officially over

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The Segway is officially over

The Segway PT, which earned a place in pop culture but never realized its creators' world-changing ambitions, will come to an end this summer.

China-based Ninebot, which acquired Segway in 2015, will halt production of the PT, short for Personal Transporter, on July 15. Twenty-one staffers will be laid off at its Bedford, New Hampshire plant. Fast Company first reported the news.

The Segway PT made a splash in December 3, 2001 when it was unveiled on Good Morning America. Inventor Dean Kamen said that an urban transportation revolution was coming and cars would be obsolete. Kamen felt it was absurd to use 4,000-pound cars and trucks for short trips.

But last year the Segway PT accounted for only 1.5% of Ninebot's revenue, according to Tony Ho, vice president of global business development at Segway. With a price tag starting at $6,000 and sometimes reaching $10,000, only police departments and tour groups could afford it, he said.

"It was a great invention 20 years ago," said Ho. "Now it seems a bit outdated." He added that some police departments have shifted to Ninebot's cheaper electric scooters. Ninebot is also ending production of a three-wheeled Segway device that was designed for community policing.

Ho said that recent discussions about police department funding in the wake of George Floyd's death did not impact Ninebot's decision.

Before the Segway, Kamen made a name for himself as an inventor of medical devices such as a portable insulin pump. The Segway PT project grew out of his work in the 1990s on a self-balancing wheelchair.

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They left out that the owner of Segway died while riding one, he rode it off a cliff.

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