Segway-Ninebot has launched a new version of its self-balancing electric scooter, called the Ninebot S Max. Unlike the traditional electric scooters from the company, the S Max comes with a hand-control steering wheel that also has a display unit. The built-in display allows riders to monitor the scooter’s speed in real time.
Along with the hand-control steering wheel, the S Max also backs the hands-free driving mode like other offerings from the Ninebot S series. The rider just needs to lean towards the direction they want to go in with their knees and the scooter automatically detects the movement. The knee-steering pillar becomes an added advantage in case hands are occupied. The steering wheel can be detached in order to operate the scooter using knees.
However, the addition of hand-controlled steering wheel only adds to the comfort and stability of riders.
The scooter weighs 22.7 kg and features a pair of motors. It has a maximum engine power output of 4,800 W and 96Nm maximum torque. However, the power isn’t used to achieve a high top speed, as the device only maxes out at 20 km/h (12.4 mph). With air-cooled battery pack of 432 Wh, the scooter provides a range of 38 km. The charging time is approximately four hours.
The power from the motors is instead used to make quick fore and aft corrections in order to maintain balance. It also provides dynamic incline climbing abilities for a self-balancing scooter.
In terms of safety features, the S Max stops automatically when detecting unusual movements such as lifting or falling. It protects the rider from crossing speed limit by ringing an alarm or slowing down when the motors get overheated.
The scooter can also be connected to the Segway-Ninebot mobile app that can be used to customize rear LED lights, adjust speed controls, lock the S Max, monitor battery and mileage, access firmware updates, among others.
The S Max is currently on sale for $899 on the Indiegogo platform; a significantly lesser price tag as compared to old-school Segway.