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"...a few centuries of coherent humanist thought, set against a million odd years of evolved killer ape tendency. No-one's going to give you very good odds on humanism, are they?"
- Richard Morgan

Automatobile  
  An autonomous private car.  

We ordinarily think about autonomous cars as if they were characterless machines, like an elevator. Not Isaac Asimov.

I heard Sally coming up behind me and I put out my hand. She slid right into it and the feel of the hard, glossy enamel of her fender was warm in my palm.

"A nice automatobile," said Gellhorn.


(Automatobile from 'Sally' by Isaac Asimov)

That's one way of putting it. Sally was a 2045 convertible with a Hennis-Carleton positronic motor and an Armat chassis. She had the cleanest, finest lines I've ever seen on any model, bar none. For five years, she'd been my favorite, and I'd put everything into her I could dream up. In all that time, there'd never been a human being behind her wheel.

Not once.

"Sally," I said, patting her gently, "meet Mr. Gellhorn."

Sally's cylinder-purr keyed up a little. I listened carefully for any knocking. Lately, I'd been hearing motor-knock in almost all the cars and changing the gasoline hadn't done a bit of good. Sally was as smooth as her paint job this time, however.

From Sally, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Fantastic in 1953
Additional resources -

Compare to the automatic control car from Imperial Earth (1976) by Arthur C. Clarke, and the automatic automobile from David H. Keller's 1935 story The Living Machine and the Camden Speedster from Robert Heinlein's serialized 1941 novel Methuselah's Children.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Sally
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