NZ’s first Segway miniPRO owner

Earlier this week we hand-delivered the first Segway miniPRO purchased by a New Zealander. Here is a photo of him gliding around the internal courtyard at this workplace on K’Rd, Auckland.
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When he tried one of our demo models earlier this year he wasn’t sure how well the Segway miniPRO would handle typical urban terrain. So to test it, he took it to the very steepest streets he could find in Auckland’s CBD.

City Road and Liverpool Street (officially the steepest in Auckland) can be found squeezed between the top of Queen Street and Symonds Street. For the Segway miniPRO, City Road proved easy to tackle – both up and down.

Now for Liverpool Street: riding down was quite the thrill! Yet the Segway miniPRO was always able to be braked to a full stop throughout the downward journey. There was never any risk of ‘runaway.’

Amazingly, the Segway miniPRO was also able to carry the rider (~60kg) up Liverpool Street from bottom to top – albeit quite slowly (but still faster than a person can walk up this very, very steep street). For his 80kg companion on another Segway miniPRO there was a 5m distance where the grade became so steep that the machine reached stalling point and dismounting was required during this short stretch. The rider simply stepped off, raised the telescopic walking handle, and walked himself and the miniPRO for a short distance until the grade levelled off slightly. According to an article in NZ Herald, Auckland City Council records this street as having  10.2 degree grade (or 18%), however we measured 13 degrees at the steepest point (using the Handilevel App on an iPhone 6S).

As an interesting point of comparison, a full-sized Segway Personal Transporter (i2 model) is not only able climb only Liverpool Street with ease, but also climb all the way to the top of Baldwin Street (the steepest urban street in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records).

 

Auckland's Liverpool Street. The red arrow in the third photograph indicates just how steep this street is.

Auckland’s Liverpool Street. The red arrow in the third photograph indicates just how steep this street is.

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