Jump to content
Hsiang

Will the EUC be the Transporation Revolution that the Segway fail to achieve?

Recommended Posts

I think there was an interesting thread a week ago on how the EUC could be evovled to increase more adaptation. I have been thinking about this and how the Segway started and was received. There are alot of hurdles like cost, regulation, safety and so on but all of that could be solved if there are more interests in EUCs by the public. Anyhow I like the subject and hope this will generate some interesting discussions.. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I liked the video; thanks for making it.  One thing about comparing EUCs to smart phones is that people were already carrying small handheld cellphones, so when a major improvement came out, it was natural for everyone to upgrade.  An EUC may be a solution to a problem some people don't know they have, or a solution to a problem that many people do not have.  If we're considering an EUC an upgrade to bicycles, it may be a tough sell because bikes are so cheap, simple, and rugged, and bicycles have hit such a critical mass that learning one as a child is a rite of passage for many cultures.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Meelosh123 said:

I liked the video; thanks for making it.  One thing about comparing EUCs to smart phones is that people were already carrying small handheld cellphones, so when a major improvement came out, it was natural for everyone to upgrade.  An EUC may be a solution to a problem some people don't know they have, or a solution to a problem that many people do not have.  If we're considering an EUC an upgrade to bicycles, it may be a tough sell because bikes are so cheap, simple, and rugged, and bicycles have hit such a critical mass that learning one as a child is a rite of passage for many cultures.

I don't think bicycle is really that much cheaper than the EUCs, the closest would be folding bikes and a brompton easily cost $2-3K and they sold 40,000 of them last year from what I read. People are willing to pay a premium if the product is design as such, Tesla is a good example of this. The original iphone was also significantly more expensive then what people were use to pay for a phone at the time. Where EUC is today reminds me of the pre-iphone smartphone era of treo and black berries. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice video and I like the overall approach to your videos generally.  It's like taking a meandering little stroll.  (Or ride I guess.)  I have reached a slightly different conclusion, however.  There was in fact a Steve Jobs of the micro-portability problem who bet everything and developed a tailor made, and incredibly well-engineered product.  I.e., Dean Kamen and the Segway.  The Segway was engineered to address the very problems that EUCs fail to address.  I.e, it offered a greatly simplified learning curve (even compared with riding a bicycle!)  with a safety profile that was arguably compatible with the adoption in massive numbers.  EUCs can't match the Segway on either score.  The Seqway had more than one Achilles heel that did it in, including lack of true portability (which is where the EUCs really shine).  But those shortcomings were intricately tied to the goal of have the product being accepted in mass numbers.  There is no way to separate them. 

 If there ever is a self-balancing answer to the micro-portability problem that is adopted by the masses, it will look much more like the Segway mini pro than an EUC. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will the EUC be the Transporation Revolution that the Segway fail to achieve?

No.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

eBikes are much more expensive that wheels are yet seem to be highly adopted (most new bicycles sold are electrified).

I have seem just a pile of mini pros ridden by children in my neighborhood, it is practically a gang these days, along with many hoverboards and eScooters. There aren't many bikes, so the electrics are taking over, and not by a little either.

However, I'm still the only EUC rider if you discount the OneWheel guy down the street.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really liked your video, but yeah. Probably will be a while before these things take off, if ever. Which is doubtful. I think the problem bikes solve, EUC's COULD fill and possibly do a better job in specific situations, if learning the basics were presented younger. But that would come with a slewwww of mess, unless they start making super safe, playskool styled mini EUC's for kids with a max speed of 2km/h, haha. Then that learning curve as an adult wouldn't be as present and daunting. Because i know when I tell others my reasoning for getting one, most agree that it IS in fact a smart idea that i got the wheel, but that they'd never try it because "id probably die!". I cycle. I love cycling. But cycling to a meeting downtown is horrible, because by time i get there, i'm a sweaty mess. If i leave my bike outside, its too shiny, it'll be stolen in minutes. Its too big to be brought inside most places, and i'd be outright kicked out of some. There are a lot of needs that the EUC fills for me, and many of my friends agreed. They actually seemed surprised that they were agreeing, haha. Even with cars, we learn them later in life, but they're kinda pushed on us in a way. Like they're a huge necessity. And with the lack of..well, balance needed, and the insane amount of safety and comfort and also the fact that they're kinda necessary for some locations and style of travel, they manage to be the exception to the "later in life learning curve" rule. So yeah, EUC's to fill a gap and fit a need, but its just like you said...that right of passage needed to comfortably ride one of these is pretty huge...too huge for many. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Paul2579 said:

Very nice video and I like the overall approach to your videos generally.  It's like taking a meandering little stroll.  (Or ride I guess.)  I have reached a slightly different conclusion, however.  There was in fact a Steve Jobs of the micro-portability problem who bet everything and developed a tailor made, and incredibly well-engineered product.  I.e., Dean Kamen and the Segway.  The Segway was engineered to address the very problems that EUCs fail to address.  I.e, it offered a greatly simplified learning curve (even compared with riding a bicycle!)  with a safety profile that was arguably compatible with the adoption in massive numbers.  EUCs can't match the Segway on either score.  The Seqway had more than one Achilles heel that did it in, including lack of true portability (which is where the EUCs really shine).  But those shortcomings were intricately tied to the goal of have the product being accepted in mass numbers.  There is no way to separate them. 

 If there ever is a self-balancing answer to the micro-portability problem that is adopted by the masses, it will look much more like the Segway mini pro than an EUC. 

I think of the segway like the palm treo I had before iphone; I mean I loved my treo and was browsing the web and running apps. However similar to the Treo as a product Segway failed to capture the public's imagination; IMHO the drive to make it easy to learn and safe crippled the design and functionality of the original segway. top speed of 12.5 mph is signficantly slower than a bicycle and so offer no advantage for a vehicle that cost, weight and is as large as the original segway. I get that in this day and age safety concern is paramount for liability issues however I often think that it would likely impossible for someone to invent the bicycle in this day and age since it present all of the same problems; dangerous, hard to learn and so on.

People complained about that software keyboard on the iphone initially also, but apple realized that crippling the long term functionality of the smart phone with a physical keyboard just so it is easy for someone to learn to use it makes a bad product that no body wants to buy.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me there are two main reasons why EUCs fail to become a revolution in transportation at the moment.

  1. By far the biggest problem here in central europe at least are laws or missing laws considering this vehicles. This is not only an euc problem, many modern transportation devices suffer the same "gray area" problem. In germany for example you can't legaly drive anywhere except offroad. And in many countries where you have a regulation the speed is officially limited to 25km/h. Basically everything that can go between 25km/h and 45km/h is a gray area. There is no middle ground, and EUC just fit perfectly here.
    Personally I think there needs to be a 35km/h vehicle catogory where you are allowed to use bike lanes and lets say you need to use a bike helmet. Same applies to e-bikes that can go that speed very easy. 45km/h is difficult, it would hurt the euc usage a lot if you can't go on bicycle lanes. But with that speed it just not gonna happen. You will need an insurance plate like mopeds, thats the only way.
  2. The second problem I see at the moment, is that this devices are more seen as a toy and not a real transportation device. This comes along with point 1, and also is related to the prices. My wife for example asks me why I need a more expensive toy. This is in her mind, and its hard to fight that. Less expensive entry level devices would also help I guess.
  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think PLEVs are going to take over the world if we let them. EUC is one of the best, but not suitable for everyone. Smartphones were never illegal to use, PLEVs are and this was a big factor in Segway failing to become popular. Segways also made the rider look lazy and they aren't seen as 'cool' ... too slow, heavy and expensive. Laws need to change so that more of these vehicles are seen on the road and then mass adoption will start. Prices need to come down too, but other types of PLEV that are cheaper to manufacture will help here. The push towards green policies to stop global warming and pollution will help drive the market for cleaner, more efficient transport. The government need to stop introducing laws that limit speed to overly low level that nullify the benefits of powered transportation. We don't put speed limits on cars, just on roads. How many Ferraris would sell if they couldn't go faster than 70 mph?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Smoother said:

I think the lack of a front wheel on Eucs and Segway type devices, will always relegate these devices to a curious activity for the adventurous.  Having a front wheel to lay serious braking power into, without face planting is a major design necessity for mass adoption.  Can you crash an escooter? Of course you can. Bikes, motorbikes, cars trucks too; you can crash them all but we all know that when trouble rears its ugly head to an EUC rider, there is a good chance there is going to be a price to pay in skin and maybe bone too.

There are many escooter rental companies in the US, but not one EUC rental( no even a face rental agency type like for rental cars).  Why? Anyone who can walk unaided can ride an escooter, whereas almost no one can ride an EUC.  Escooters also have front wheels and actual brakes you can point at and say, "see! it has brakes" to the regulatory bodies with jurisdiction.

The chance to injure yourself on an EUC is just too high for the great unwashed.  And the learning curve is: a. too steep, and b. usually requires a hefty up front investment or a buddy with a wheel to lend. And who, other than die hards wants to dress up like Robocop just to pop out and grab a coffee, or get to the bus stop quicker.  One would look like a real prat sitting on a mass transit device dressed like Robocop with what looks like a giant George Foreman grill between ones legs.

There also seems to be a general lack of interst in them.  I have been riding for over two years, my whole extended family knows I have one/has seen me ride it.  Not one of them has asked to be shown how to do it.  And other than an occasional spotty teenage twat who yells "give us a go" as I wheel by, only one member of the great unwashed has expressed a desire to give it a try. Fascinated, yes, intrigued, yes, impressed, sometimes, want to learn, mostly-no.

When I ride my bicycle around I don't see anyone asking me about it or saying they want to buy one. People are more likely to get a bicycle if they have a need for making lots of short trips or they want to have fun and see more of their surrounding area. When people see value in PLEV's as a car replacement for short trips into town, or for trips around their area to meet people and take in the view and catch some fresh air, then they will consider buying one. This is where promoting and advertising these benefits will help. I agree that EUCs aren't seen as safe, but they have so many advantages that even those of us that have fallen from one still want to get back on and keep riding. At low speeds (jogging pace) they are pretty safe and you would need to be very unlucky/unfit to injure yourself on one. Its a market that needs some momentum to start the ball rolling, then it will pick up quickly. Maybe feature a EUC in a James Bond movie would do the trick. Anyone who makes a lot of bus trips or uses taxis a lot would be better off with their own PLEV.

Edited by Nic
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Nic said:

When I ride my bicycle around I don't see anyone asking me about it or saying they want to buy one

That's because bicycles have been around for over 150 years, and almost everyone can ride one already.  No one needs to ask you about yours, they have  already known all they need to know about bicycles since they were 3 years old.  But I do agree at jogging speeds its pretty hard for an experienced rider to hurt themselves.  But commuting, or replacing other forms of transport is generally not efficient at a jogging pace. 

" Maybe feature a EUC in a James Bond movie would do the trick.." Lewis Hamilton has a Ninebot One but it doesn't seem to be helping.

Edited by Smoother

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Smoother said:

" Maybe feature a EUC in a James Bond movie would do the trick.." Lewis Hamilton has a Ninebot One but it doesn't seem to be helping.

Wrong image ... and I didn't know he had a EUC and don't care either. Need to see these in use, not just know that some celebrity owns one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Nic said:

Wrong image ... and I didn't know he had a EUC and don't care either. Need to see these in use, not just know that some celebrity owns one.

There's photos of him riding it, that's how one knows

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Nic After your comment about James Bond, I did a quick mental review of Bond gadgets.  It's quite revealing.

Bond Gadgets and accessories

Auto gyro: Still around, but very much niche

Jet powered mini boat: very darty in the film, just a prop really, no one's actually making these, although conventional jet boats are still popular in the US and other warm water communities

Wet Bike: Consigned to history's garbage bin, Jet ski style was way easier to learn and ride, so it won.

Mini Jet: Only a kit really.  Only one or two in existence (DB7) I think. Only for experienced pilots anyway

Car that turns into a submarine: Prop

Omega watches: still around but not exactly setting the world on fire.

Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred:  I've never had one, have you?

Parahawk ( a powered parachute) around, available, but again a niche market 

There must be others, that I can't remember.

Based on the above, ironically, if you want a product to take off the last person you should give it to is James Bond. :D

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, Smoother said:

@Nic After your comment about James Bond, I did a quick mental review of Bond gadgets.  It's quite revealing.

Bond Gadgets and accessories

Auto gyro: Still around, but very much niche

Jet powered mini boat: very darty in the film, just a prop really, no one's actually making these, although conventional jet boats are still popular in the US and other warm water communities

Wet Bike: Consigned to history's garbage bin, Jet ski style was way easier to learn and ride, so it won.

Mini Jet: Only a kit really.  Only one or two in existence (DB7) I think. Only for experienced pilots anyway

Car that turns into a submarine: Prop

Omega watches: still around but not exactly setting the world on fire.

Vodka Martini, shaken not stirred:  I've never had one, have you?

Parahawk ( a powered parachute) around, available, but again a niche market 

There must be others, that I can't remember.

Based on the above, ironically, if you want a product to take off the last person you should give it to is James Bond. :D

Most of those aren't practical, affordable or particularly useful. Plus you are being too specific ... helicopters, boats, cars, watches and alcohol are all mostly common. The specific examples you sited won't make everyday life better for most people. PLEVs can and will...

Edited by Nic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Nic said:

PLEVs can and will...

All I'm saying is nothing James Bond embraces has become main stream.  You didn't have to point out the specialty nature of some of the objects, I already did that.

You keep mentioning PLEV's but were talking about EUCs.  Eescoothers yes, ebikes yes these PLEVs will/have taken off. You can't wrap EUCs in with other PLEvs and make a blanket statement about how they will all be accepted equally.  These are entirely different machines that just happen to fall under the PLEV umbrella.  What about One Wheels, Mainstream or niche?  Still a PLEV.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Smoother said:

All I'm saying is nothing James Bond embraces has become main stream.  You didn't have to point out the specialty nature of some of the objects, I already did that.

You keep mentioning PLEV's but were talking about EUCs.  Eescoothers yes, ebikes yes these PLEVs will/have taken off. You can't wrap EUCs in with other PLEvs and make a blanket statement about how they will all be accepted equally.  These are entirely different machines that just happen to fall under the PLEV umbrella.  What about One Wheels, Mainstream or niche?  Still a PLEV.

EUCs are likely the choice of enthusiasts who want maximum flexibility and fun and who don't mind the challenge of learning to ride one, or the risks involved. Onewheels and skateboards are mostly for fun but will double up as transport. Otherwise scooters are the best choice for the masses , some with seats for older folks.:)

I might own a scooter one day, but I don't like Onewheel or skateboards as they seem like a very compromised solution offering no practical advantages over EUCs and Scooters. Those that like the feeling of surfing would probably consider one, but I am mostly focused on practicality with fun being a bonus.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Nic said:

EUCs are likely the choice of enthusiasts who want maximum flexibility and fun and who don't mind the challenge of learning to ride one, or the risks involved. Onewheels and skateboards are mostly for fun but will double up as transport. Otherwise scooters are the best choice for the masses , some with seats for older folks.:)

I might own a scooter one day, but I don't like Onewheel or skateboards as they seem like a very compromised solution offering no practical advantages over EUCs and Scooters. Those that like the feeling of surfing would probably consider one, but I am mostly focused on practicality with fun being a bonus.

100% agree

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×