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Old 04-07-09, 07:48 PM   #1
slagjumper
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GM's new PUMA to use bikelanes!

Looks like GM sees the writing on the wall and has developed an electric Segway-like two seater that will run in bikelanes! Wouldn't it be funny if all of a sudden the top twenty cities started a big push for seperated paths. If Forester were dead, he'd be turning over in his grave.


http://www.engadget.com/2009/04/07/g...s-stage-debut/
The biggest obstacle to commercialization, however, is the lack of infrastructure: P.U.M.A. in its current incarnation is designed for for bike lanes, and the first cities to get it will be ones with existing, comprehensive bike lanes -- not as much of an obstacle in Europe, but quite the stretch for most American cities. Still, the mathematics are quite alluring, with a 35 mile range at 35 mph for a 35 cent charge -- even us mouth-breathing Statesiders can understand that.
Cities with extensive bike lanes -- look out:
http://weblogs.newsday.com/cars/blog..._twowheel.html
...the first cities to get it will be ones with existing, comprehensive bike lanes -- not as much of an obstacle in Europe, but quite the stretch for most American cities.

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Old 04-07-09, 07:56 PM   #2
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P.U.M.A. in its current incarnation is designed for for bike lanes . . . . at 35 mph
Now that's simply ridiculous. Heck, even I tend to leave bike lanes when I top 20mph or so. If its top speed is 15 or 20mph, it'd be more understandable.
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Old 04-07-09, 08:00 PM   #3
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Now that's simply ridiculous. Heck, even I tend to leave bike lanes when I top 20mph or so. If its top speed is 15 or 20mph, it'd be more understandable.
I guess it is all about the consumer's perception of safety. Many cyclists will be able to blow the PUMA's away. But given GM's track record for inovation this will probably never take off.
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Old 04-07-09, 10:36 PM   #4
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This is the same GM that killed the EV-1 and Saturn?

RIP PUMA....

OTOH, the IT Segway changed the transportation world, didn't it?
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Old 04-07-09, 11:02 PM   #5
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GM is gonna build a vehichle for the Segway market? Sheesh! Hasn't the Segway been failure enough?

GM killed the EV-1 and someday they may bring out the Volt.

They're not bankrupt but the government tells them who their CEO can be and the taxpayer is on the hook to pay for waranty repairs.

The world ain't nuts; it's crazy.
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Old 04-08-09, 01:23 AM   #6
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Talk about an "accelerated pedestrian."

Pun intended.

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Old 04-08-09, 05:09 AM   #7
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It seems clear to us that the PUMA is a bad idea. But wasnt replacing public transportation in LA with an extensive road system a bad idea? What about the countless bridges and roads to nowhere? I bet the road building folks will eat this up as an idea to spend more on bmodal infrastructure, Might sound appealing to bike lane advocating cyclists.
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Old 04-08-09, 06:14 AM   #8
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The thing looks like a wheelchair with a roll cage to me, just say'n.
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Old 04-08-09, 06:21 AM   #9
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I wonder how it does on hills.
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Old 04-08-09, 06:57 AM   #10
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I'd better not catch one in a bike lane...
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Old 04-08-09, 07:04 AM   #11
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GM is gonna build a vehichle for the Segway market? Sheesh! Hasn't the Segway been failure enough?

GM killed the EV-1 and someday they may bring out the Volt.

They're not bankrupt but the government tells them who their CEO can be and the taxpayer is on the hook to pay for waranty repairs.

The world ain't nuts; it's crazy.
They need this so that when you go shopping for an electric car at a chevy dealership the salesman can point to the PUMA and say "that's what electric cars are like, you want this SUV here." It's how GM makes good ideas sound ridiculous. They may do something similar with the volt: "Oh you want a plugin hybrid, we have one but it's $50,000. You want a Cadillac!"

GM did it to electric cars the last time by building a thousand of them and including R&D costs into the purchase price of 1,000 vehicles. In software we know how this game works: Research is risk. If you succeed you win it back ten times over. If you fail then you wasted all of your time. You don't get to charge for it because it's not a per widget cost.

That's just my theory on what they're trying to do. It could also be that they want to claim they hire engineers and researchers to build electric cars. Then they encourage them to build something unmarketable so that they won't risk actually building a successful electric car. Electric cars ruin GM's policy of selling you the bigger engine at a ridiculous markup. They limit the silly electric gadgets that everyone sells at a crazy high markup.
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Old 04-08-09, 07:19 AM   #12
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They need this so that when you go shopping for an electric car at a chevy dealership the salesman can point to the PUMA and say "that's what electric cars are like, you want this SUV here." It's how GM makes good ideas sound ridiculous. They may do something similar with the volt: "Oh you want a plugin hybrid, we have one but it's $50,000. You want a Cadillac!"

GM did it to electric cars the last time by building a thousand of them and including R&D costs into the purchase price of 1,000 vehicles. In software we know how this game works: Research is risk. If you succeed you win it back ten times over. If you fail then you wasted all of your time. You don't get to charge for it because it's not a per widget cost.

That's just my theory on what they're trying to do. It could also be that they want to claim they hire engineers and researchers to build electric cars. Then they encourage them to build something unmarketable so that they won't risk actually building a successful electric car. Electric cars ruin GM's policy of selling you the bigger engine at a ridiculous markup. They limit the silly electric gadgets that everyone sells at a crazy high markup.
Based on what Toyota has come up with... I tend to agree... what in the world is GM thinking! Obviously GM and the Oil companies have some sort of behind the scenes connection.

As far as innovation... GM left it all behind somewhere... sheesh. The CEO didn't step down soon enough.
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Old 04-08-09, 07:32 AM   #13
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That piece of crap doesn't belong in the bike lane.
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Old 04-08-09, 08:43 AM   #14
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Since the auto industry in the US went from being run by Auto executives (up until the 1960s) to Ralph Nader luddites and their congressional ilk, its all been downhill for the auto industry and GM. I don't blame management OR the unions.

This garbage can on wheels is only the beginning of the turd vehicles we will see out of detroit.

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Old 04-08-09, 08:46 AM   #15
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I'd better not catch one in a bike lane...
I'd carry a spare frame pump just to Cinzano one of those abominations.
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Old 04-08-09, 08:55 AM   #16
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Another good reason to avoid bike lanes....or can we start calling them PUMA lanes?
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Old 04-08-09, 09:13 AM   #17
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The thing looks like a wheelchair with a roll cage to me, just say'n.
I often see people in wheelchairs driving vehicularly. They don't need no stinkin' bike lanes.

Ironically, I also see people on bicycles riding on the sidewalk-- on the same street at the same time (what a hoot!).

I can't for the life of me figure out why a vehicle that can go 35mph would need a special lane. Isn't 35 mph pretty much the speed limit on many roads?

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Old 04-08-09, 09:22 AM   #18
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yawn...
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Old 04-08-09, 09:32 AM   #19
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I often see people in wheelchairs driving vehicularly. They don't need no stinkin' bike lanes.

Ironically, I also see people on bicycles riding on the sidewalk-- on the same street at the same time (what a hoot!).

I can't for the life of me figure out why a vehicle that can go 35mph would need a special lane. Isn't 35 mph pretty much the speed limit on many roads?
Because if it collides with anything larger than a bicycle, all occupants of the electric rickshaw will be killed?


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Old 04-08-09, 11:15 AM   #20
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While this is very unlikely for a wide range of reasons, it would be welcome as it could increase the visibility of the problems with bike lanes to a wider audience.
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Old 04-08-09, 12:31 PM   #21
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While I'm not betting any of my money that it will succeed, it seems like it has some of the features that are bound to be found in future vehicles. Things like smaller foot print, cheaper to buy and run, less polluting, less stylish, and more utilitarian.

The speed limit on city of Pittsburgh public streets is never more than 35.

Spike, I think that you name for that bubble on wheels, might stick and kill the concept alltogether, at least in the Western half of the globe.

"electric rickshaw"

Would a city of PUMAs be the same as "car free"?

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Old 04-08-09, 12:37 PM   #22
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The PUMA can't crash into anything.
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Old 04-08-09, 01:14 PM   #23
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The PUMA can't crash into anything.
True that. However, It's an unfortunate fact that all other vehicles can crash into pumas.
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Old 04-08-09, 01:46 PM   #24
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Unless PUMAs have pedals for the major part of their propulsive power, they may well be screwed. Many communities prohibit motor vehicles from operating in bike lanes, and nearly all prohibit them on bike paths and multi-use paths. Pretty much the same problems that mo-peds and E-bikes have in many places...
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Old 04-08-09, 01:53 PM   #25
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The PUMA can't crash into anything.
IF the network that does not yet exist is created...till then it can crash just like anything else.
Geesh...now the bike lanes are gonna go wireless too!
We can surf the web as we ride!
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