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"Science fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not."
- Isaac Asimov

Roachster  
  A genetically-engineered vehicle based on arthropod DNA; uses implanted control structures.  

In this possible future (around 2044), most purely mechanical devices like cars, trucks and planes are replaced by enlarged organisms combined with implanted control devices.

"...When General Bodies designed their Roachster, they had an immense advantage. An arthropod's shell is laid down by an underlying membrane and is periodically replaced or molted. Once they had gengineered their hybrid to grow bumps in suitable places, beneath the legs... then they could have the membrane secrete a second layer of shell inside those bumps, just within the first... The end result is a wheel mounted on a central hub. The genimal's legs run backward on top of the wheels...

"There's the brain, the spinal chord, the motor centers. A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain." She explained how the controller, a computer, translated movements of the tiller or control yoke and the throttle and brake pedals into electrical signals and routed them as appropriate to the jets or the genimal's motor centers, triggering the genimal's own nervous system into commanding its muscles to serve the driver. All the necessary programming was built into the hardware, burned into PROM chips like the one pictured in his glossy.

"...A Roachster's plug is installed beneath the shell-secreting membrane, so molting will not effect it.

Technovelgy from Sparrowhawk, by Thomas A. Easton.
Published by Ace Books in 1990
Additional resources -

Jack Vance had a very similar idea in his 1964 novel The Last Castle; see the entry for power wagons.

Also, in his 1964 story A Game of Unchance, Philip K. Dick describes a control harness.

See also the entry for the organic-based robot cat from The Cat and the King by Raymond F. Jones, published by Astounding Science Fiction in 1946:

The only other thing needed was a means of guiding him here by radio control when he was safely out of the field of your screens. It was easy to direct him here by inciting a small amount of pain or discomfort in certain nerves when lie moved in any direction but the one required to bring him here.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Sparrowhawk
  More Ideas and Technology by Thomas A. Easton
  Tech news articles related to Sparrowhawk
  Tech news articles related to works by Thomas A. Easton

Roachster-related news articles:
  - HI-MEMS: Cyborg Beetle Microsystem
  - Spy Moth Cyborg On/Off Switch Perfected
  - Radio-Controlled Beetle By UC Berkeley
  - Remote-Controlled Cyborg Beetle Video
  - Roboroach Slalom Steering Video
  - Roboroach Control? There's An App For That
  - Roboroach Now Shipping!
  - Steerable Locusts Detect Explosives
  - Solar-Powered Remote-Control Cockroaches!

Articles related to Vehicle
GoSun EV Solar Charger Drapes Onto Your Car
'Autonomous' Waymo Improves Driving With Remote Human Operators
Heinleinís Controlway - Connected and Automated Vehicle (CAV) Corridor In Michigan
CyberCab - Tesla Renames The Robotaxi

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