Thursday, May 13News For London

Amazon pulled some hoverboards in the UK and the US

Anyone looking for self-balancing scooters known as “hoverboards” for Christmas on Amazon from America or Britain, may have a very limited selection.

Source: Flickr/urbanwheel.co
Hoverboards face a controversial reception from public and businesses. Photo credit: urbanwheel.co

Amazon has suspended many sales of hoverboards over safety fears, the gadget site BestReviews first reported. The company has asked all hoverboard manufacturers to provide documentation showing that they are following necessary safety standards.

Swagway, one of the well-known importers of hoverboards, told The Verge that Amazon asked manufactureres  to show “documentation demonstrating that all hoverboards you list are compliant with applicable safety standards, including UN 38.3 (battery), UL 1642 (battery), and UL 60950-1 (charger)”. This company has also said Swagway already meets this requirements, and its products are still available on this marketplace.

The news arrived soon after the Friday accident in London. On December 11, a 15-year-old riding a hoverboard died in north-west London after being hit by a bus bus. According to the police, he was pronounced dead at the scene. A day before, the police hunted hoverboard-riding theft in south London.

Although, plenty of hoverboards are still available on other popular marketplaces Alibaba and eBay, a quick check shows. Walmart, as Buzzfeed has recently reported, “probably won’t” offer hoverboards during the holiday season. So far, Walmart has a number of hoverboards displayed on its site. All retailers has not answered to Westminster World inquiry on Monday afternoon.

Some British consumers did not welcome this move by Amazon and left ironical comments on Twitter.

However, Hoverboard is not the only type of self-balancing vehicles available in the UK. Last week, Uniwheel, the first British-made one-wheel vehicle was launched in London.

“We knew about this issue when we started developing this technology, that’s why it took us longer to figure out the safest ways of the battery management systems, and that’s why we have removable batteries with the airplane mode switch”, told Uniwheel spokesperson  to Westminster World.

Timur Artemev, Uniwheel CEO, added that he could not also remember any episodes, when people died on a monowheel (there are a number of models produced around the world). Artemev has just one accident a couple of years ago, when he was riding a monowheel: the machine broke on the way down from a hill, but he did not get any injures.

 

Uniwheel founder Timur Artemev is riding on his self-balancing British-made vehicle. Photo Credit: Uniwheel press office
Uniwheel founder Timur Artemev is riding on his self-balancing British-made vehicle. Photo Credit: Uniwheel press office

Uniwheel is facing regulation over safety fears coming from aviation industry. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has particular rules regarding one-wheeled vehicles. “Uniwheel is the only wheel you can take with you into a plane. It corresponds to all the rules, but from January 1, 2016 they are going to change them, and we are having a number of talks with ICAO to make them agree that our wheel could be taken on board”, Artemev explained. He clarified why it is important to make Uniwheel available for flights: people use it on holidays, because “it is designed for pleasure and fun”.