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Segways, scooters, and AI-powered electric shoes

The original Segway launched in 2000 and was supposed to revolutionize micro-mobility and the “last-mile problem” associated with getting around cities. Instead, only about 140,000 units were sold in the following two decades and, in 2020, the company stopped production on the namesake vehicle. In hindsight this seems kind of obvious. Segways are/were clunky and expensive. There’s a learning curve. And it’s infinitely difficult to look even remotely cool while riding one.

But one thing they did get right was the problem. There was in fact a need for micro-mobility solutions, which is why we have seen bike share and e-scooter ridership grow, like this, since the late 2000’s. I think it remains to be seen just how ubiquitous things like e-scooters will become in our cities. But in 2021, there were 900,000 electric scooters sold in France alone. So we’re already doing much better than the Segway did during its lifetime.

As I have said before, I am a big fan of electric scooters. And I wish that Toronto would stop being so conservative with allowing them in the city. But I remain open to other ideas, so here’s another last-mile solution to consider: $1,400 AI-powered electric shoes. Casey Neistat recently reviewed them in New York City and, I can safely say, that they look Segway-like in terms of their clunkiness and overall attractiveness. They’re still in the prototype phase and they do make you walk about 250% faster; but I’m not yet convinced.

How about you?

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