Segway Rider Behavior: Speed and Clearance Distance in Passing Sidewalk Objects

The Segway Human Transporter is becoming more prevalent on urban sidewalks. This experiment investigated the approach speed and passing clearance that Segway devices exhibit on encountering a variety of obstacles on the sidewalk. The experiment was conducted with a sample of 20 Segway operators: 10 experienced operators and 10 novices. For the given experimental course and procedures, the results of the study revealed that (a) Segway riders approach obstacles at a mean speed of about 4.5 mph (7.2 km/h) with a range from 2.7 mph (4.3 km/h) to 6.8 mph (10.9 km/h); (b) Segway riders pass obstacles with a mean clearance of about 14.5 in. (36.7 cm) with a range from 3.3 in. (8.4 cm) to 43.2 in. (110 cm); (c) Segway riders pass moving pedestrians at an average speed of about 5 mph (8.1 km/h) and with an average clearance of 35.9 in. (91.2 cm); (d) Segway riders pass obstacles more slowly by about 0.5 mph (0.8 km/h) on average and closer by about 17.6 in. (44.7 cm) on average on a narrow as opposed to a wide sidewalk; and (e) experienced Segway riders pass faster by about 1.9 mph (3.1 km/h) on average than do novice riders. In the current experiment, the average passing event involving a Segway rider and a pedestrian required a minimum total distance of approximately 7.0 ft (2.1 m). These data should assist engineers in calculating the impact of various mixes of Segway traffic on sidewalks.


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  • Accession Number: 01088384
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309126021
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 25 2008 2:32PM