2 suppliers get contracts for scooter

Two auto suppliers have contracts to produce components for a two-wheeled electric scooter called the Segway Human Transporter.

Delphi Automotive Systems Corp. will supply circuit boards and electronics used to control the machine, which is directed by the motion of the rider. Michelin North America Inc. will supply wheel assemblies and tires for the scooter-like device. Terms were not disclosed.

In January, Delphi will start producing parts for the device at its electronics plant in Flint, Mich. The supplier has hired 17 employees to manufacture the parts and could hire as many as 80 more in the next year, said Delphi CEO J.T. Battenberg.

Segway’s transporter looks like a push-type lawnmower. The machine is the creation of inventor Dean Kamen’s Segway LLC of Manchester, N.H. The transporter relies on gyroscopes and sensors to respond to its user’s movements and is expected to carry a person about 11 miles on a single battery charge.

Cargo-carrying commercial models are expected to cost $8,000 to $10,000 and go on sale early next year. They will be followed by consumer models, priced at about $3,000, in late 2002.

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