Delphi Automotive Systems generally makes its money on parts for four-wheel vehicles, but the supplier gets a starring role in the production of the Segway HT, the new, monstrously hyped 2-wheel scooter that could have Schwinn dealers breaking a sweat.

The Segway HT exploded onto the scene in December with an unprecedented media blitz for a new product. The vehicle is the brainchild of inventor and all-around rich-guy Dean Kamen, who says the human transporter will revolutionize personal transportation on the plant floor, on mail routes, in neighborhoods, on campuses — everywhere. It is self-balancing, using five gyroscopes Kamen invented.

Initial price is as high as $10,000 but should come down to around $3,000 within a few years. Its top speed is 12 mph (19 km/h).

Delphi helped develop the electronic system used to control the human transporter, including the control boards and some of the handlebar electronics that steer the HT. Delphi engineers also pitched in, and the company helped with component sourcing, testing and manufacturing process development.

Why is Delphi involved? Because it meets the company's strategy to target “expanding new technologies” beyond automotive, the company says. Delphi itself is one of the early guinea pigs, incidentally — the company plans to use Segway HTs in some of its plants as part of a pilot-testing program.