I drove Segway's bizarre egg-shaped scooter, and it was extremely difficult to use

Mark Matousek/Business InsiderMeet the Segway Egg.
  • Segway-Ninebot, the company behind a slew of motorised personal vehicles, recently debuted its newest product – a personal egg-shaped “transporting pod” called the S-Pod.
  • The company showed off the S-Pod this week at the consumer tech show CES 2020, where I was able to try it out, even though it’s not on sale yet to the public.
  • I found it incredibly difficult to control my speed and steering while test driving the S-Pod, and I was nervous during my run that I would cause a collision.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Segway’s personal “transporting pod” was shown off this week at CES 2020 for the first time since the company debuted the egg-shaped scooter as its newest product.

The S-Pod is essentially an electric wheelchair. It can hit speeds of up to 24 mph, and comes with a navigation pad to manually point the vehicle in the direction you want to go.

Although the vehicle is not available to the public, the S-Pod was unveiled this week at CES 2020, the year’s biggest consumer tech show taking place in Las Vegas. I was able to test drive the S-Pod around a small track, where I was got a sense of how the vehicle’s steering and acceleration works.

Here’s my experience testing at the Segway-Ninebot S-Pod, which is not yet up for sale to consumers:

Paige Leskin contributed to this story.


Segway-Ninebot, the company behind the original Segway, unveiled its plans for the S-Pod earlier in January. The S-Pod looks like a two-wheeled electric wheelchair, and is described as a personal “transporting pod” that can reach speeds of 24 mph.

Segway

Source: Business Insider


The S-Pod is already drawing comparisons to another movie vehicle: the hoverchairs in the Disney-Pixar animated movie “Wall-E” that passengers use to travel around and essentially inhabit.

Segway; Wall-E/Disney

Source: Business Insider


Fortunately, I was able to test drive the S-Pod in Las Vegas at CES 2020. Before stepping into the S-Pod, I signed a safety waiver and put on a helmet.

Mark Matousek/Business Insider

Once I was seated, I pressed a button that tilted me backward and activated the S-Pod’s motors.

Beth Mellow for Mark Matousek/Business Insider

I drove the S-Pod for two brief laps around a small, indoor track.

Beth Mellow for Mark Matousek/Business Insider

I found it very difficult to control my speed. The joystick was very sensitive, and on multiple occasions I found myself accelerating faster than I wanted to.

Beth Mellow for Mark Matousek/Business Insider

I feared I would accidentally hit one of the Segway representatives on the track, but thankfully, I avoided a collision.

Beth Mellow for Mark Matousek/Business Insider

Instead of requiring the user to navigate by leaning forward and backward, the S-Pod comes with a navigation pad to manually point the vehicle in the direction you want to go. Steering the S-Pod was challenging, and I didn’t find the controls to be very intuitive.

Beth Mellow for Mark Matousek/Business Insider

Overall, I wasn’t able to get comfortable with the controls by the time my short test drive complete. It remains to be seen how easy using the vehicle would be after some practice and more time with the S-Pod.

Beth Mellow for Mark Matousek/Business Insider

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