Segway Ends Production, Leaving A Gap in the Tour Vehicle Market
The era of the standing Segway model used by tour operators around the world has come to a close. The company announced that it will end production of the popular electric mobility unit in July of 2020. While several similiar products have entered the market in the past few years, the original machine is being phased out in favor of new Segway products geared for urban use, offering seats rather than standing platforms.
Segway-Ninebot highlighted several reasons for the change, namely that the vehicle uses older technology and is often regarded as a 'nerdish' design. With the rise of cheaper e-mobility products and shared-use business models, it seems that Segway-Ninebot did not see the kind of urban-wide expansion the products were originally designed for.
And yet, the off-road Segway models had proven to be steady earners for mountain resorts, city tour operators, and off-road tour operators. Groups of tourists on Segways following each other through historic city blocks or along easy mountain paths has become a familiar sight in the past decade, and some operators have created entire businesses around the legendary product.
So, what next for the Segway Tour Operator? Fortunately, innovation continues to flourish, and perhaps even improve on earlier experiences. There are now a variety of Segway-like vehicles on the market and even cheaper scooter options, but the lure of a truly unique and high-quality experience is harder to find.
While Segway paved the way for electric tour vehicles in the tour industry, products such as the Electric Coaster can offer a new experience in less 'nerdish' package, complete with a novel and unique riding experience and a stable seat. The appeal of a group tour, where every visitor learns to operate a simple (but unusual) vehicle and explore scenic terrain together continues to thrive in the new products we now see at touring stations all over Europe. While we bid goodbye to the Segway and its history of innovation, we look forward to the new technologies on the horizon, and the fun we can look forward to in the coming summers. Thanks for the wonderful memories, Segway...