Segway's new three-wheeled patroller isn't an innovation so much as a knock-off.

The new Segway SE-3. Segway

Segways were supposed to revolutionize human mobility. Now, 13 years after the two-wheeled “project Ginger” turned out to be a niche product for shopping-mall security guards and walk-less walking tours, Segway has launched a three-wheeled transporter.

First announced more than a year ago and called the Segway SE-3 patroller, it is currently available only to law-enforcement agencies, at $12,000 each. Segway has more than 1,500 law enforcement clients, according to the company website.

But the third wheel isn’t an innovation so much as a knock-off. California-based T3 Motion has been marketing a three-wheeled transporter to public-safety officials since 2006. Here’s what the T3 Patroller looks like in operation by a police officer in Miami:

The T3 Patroller in operation by a Miami-Dade police officer. T3 Motion

And here’s one in use by a New York City cop:

NYPD on a T3. Leo Mirani

In 2010, the New York Times reported that a T3 patroller cost around $9,000. T3 says it has “deployed” 5,000 units to 30 countries.

Neither of these vehicles—which we've heard police officers refer to as “tridents”—were pioneers in the field of single-rider, three-wheeled cop transport. The Cushman truckster has been used by law enforcement since the 1960s (paywall), but production ceased in the early 2000sCanada’s Westward Industries makes the Go-4 Interceptor, the three-wheeled car New Yorkers and San Franciscans see zipping around handing out tickets.

An NYPD Go-4 Interceptor. Vincent Desjardins

This post originally appeared on Quartz, an Atlantic partner site.

MORE FROM QUARTZ:

The Dutch Are Perfecting the Controversial Art of the Voting-Booth Selfie

Taipei Now Has the Most Expensive Housing in the World—and There’s Not Much It Can Do to Fix That

Indian E-retailers Are So Scared of Amazon that They’re All Joining Forces

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. a photo of yellow vest protesters in Paris, France.
    Equity

    To Understand American Political Anger, Look to ‘Peripheral France’

    French geographer Christophe Guilluy has a controversial diagnosis of working-class resentment in the age of Trump, Brexit, and the Yellow Vests.

  2. A man walks by an abandoned home in Youngstown, Ohio
    Life

    How Some Shrinking Cities Are Still Prospering

    A study finds that some shrinking cities are prosperous areas with smaller, more-educated populations. But they also have greater levels of income inequality.

  3. Design

    How 'Maintainers,' Not 'Innovators,' Make the World Turn

    We need more stories about the labor that sustains society, a group of scholars say.

  4. Environment

    The Rise, Fall, and Possible Rebirth of 100 Resilient Cities

    Internal communications shed new light on the Rockefeller Foundation’s decision to stop funding the global climate nonprofit, and hint at what might come next.

  5. A rendering of a co-living building in San Jose.
    Life

    The Largest Co-Living Building in the World Is Coming to San Jose

    The startup Starcity plans to build an 800-unit, 18-story “dorm for adults” to help affordably house Silicon Valley’s booming workforce.

×