Tokyo police introduced the Segway two-wheel electric vehicle Tuesday to strengthen security at Haneda airport ahead of key international events in Japan.
It is the first time Japanese police are using the Segway, which go as fast as 20 kph and can travel about 40 km per charge.
The Metropolitan Police Department’s anti-terrorism squad at the airport, set up last April, started using two Segways in the departure lobby on Tuesday, ahead of the next year’s Group of Seven summit in Mie Prefecture and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Standing on the Segway’s base 20 cm above the ground, police officers say they will have wider views and can easily find suspicious items and people.
Introduction of the Segway is expected to have deterrence effects as well, because an officer on the vehicle will stand out in a crowd, the police said.
The Segway’s police version is also able to catch the eye with blinking red and blue lights, though it has no siren.
According to Segway Japan Ltd., security companies and other private-sector corporate customers have already been using the two-wheeler, including Chubu Centrair International Airport’s management company, which adopted it in 2008.