Segway’s prototype wheelchair crashes at CES 2020 in Las Vegas.
The S-Pod a self balancing wheelchair whose maximum speed is 24mph, crashed during a demonstration at the tech show today. The chair was being tested by a journalist when the rider accelerated the vehicle before accidentally crashing into a wall. No one was injured.
As a result of the crash the S-Pod is unavailable for further demonstration however reassurance from analysts says the company won’t face lasting damage.
Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research said “In no way is a [malfunction] a total loss. It is still a sign to the public that the company is close to the finished product” which is expected to go on sale early 2021.
The S-Pod is created and designed to be driven in enclosed spaces like airports, theme parks and work campuses.
Director of marketing Jeff Wu told the BBC the concept model did not have a safety belt, but that his company intended to add one.
The Chinese firm did not divulge how much was spent on the prototype, however companies often spend millions developing products to have them ready to exhibit at the Las Vegas Expo.
The demo model which was inspired by the geospheres in the film Jurassic World, had received significant media attention for its design. Social media followers have also compared the vehicle to the hover chairs in the animated Pixar film Wall-E.
Segway’s is famous for it’s electric scooters which is maneuvered by riders moving forward, backwards or to the side however the S-Pod is operated with a joystick on it’s armrest.
The crash is the latest in a long history of mishaps at the annual tech show.