Segway firm owner dies after driving machine off cliff

Scooter taken cross country

By John E Dunn, Techworld |  Personal Tech, segway

The owner of the company that bought out the Segway gyroscopic scooter early this year has died after apparently accidentally driving his machine into a river off a cliff.

Self-made millionaire Jim Heselden, 61, was apparently driving a 'cross-country' version of the Segway when the accident happened on his Yorkshire estate, police reported.

Heselden's company, Hesco Bastion, bought the US company behind the famous scooter in January and is also known for having sold blast protection walls to the US and UK militaries.

Despite finding markets in sectors such as air transport, the Segway has struggled to sell on any scale since being launched by inventor Dean Kamen in 2001. The absurd hype in advance of the launch didn't help its case.

The Segway's problem has always been that it solves a problem very few people actually has. It does what a folding bicycle can do in most cases but at many times the cost (around £5,000) and complexity. If the world one day engineers perfectly smooth roads and pavements, it could yet flourish, but that world is a long way off.

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