Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"There's no point in making a mistake unless you understand the mistake so that you donít make it again."
- Alfred Bester

Automatic Control Car  
  An autonomous vehicle.  

Not the earliest description, but there are lots of imaginative details here from Clarke.

As the beautiful old car cruised in almost perfect silence under the guidance of it's automatic controls, Duncan tried to see something of the terrain through which she was passing. The spaceport was 50 km from the city - no one had yet invented a noiseless rocket - and the four-lane highway bore a surprising amount of traffic. Duncan could count at least 20 vehicles of different types and even though they were all moving in the same direction, the spectacle was somewhat alarming.

"I hope all those other cars are on automatic," he said anxiously.

Washington looked a little shocked. "Of course," he said. "It's been a criminal offense for at least a hundred years to drive manually on a public highway. But we still have occasional psychopaths to kill themselves and other people..."

The big car was slowing down, it's computer brain sensing an exit ahead. Presently it peeled off from the parkway, then speeded up again along a narrow road whose surface rapidly disintegrated into a barely visible grass-covered track. Washington took the steering lever just a second before the END AUTO warning started to flash on the control panel.

From Imperial Earth, by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Harcourt Brace in 1976
Additional resources -

Autonomous car engineers might also appreciate this last bit:

A little later, the car turned into a driveway which letter beautifully kept ones. There was a gentle beeping from the control panel, and a sign flashed from beneath the steering handle: SWITCH TO MANUAL.

Compare to 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.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Imperial Earth
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur C. Clarke
  Tech news articles related to Imperial Earth
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur C. Clarke

Automatic Control Car-related news articles:
  - Tesla Promises Fully Autonomous Cars By 2018
  - Tesla's New Autopilot, With Test Drive Video
  - Tesla Autopilot Road Trip 2995 Miles, 57 Hours
  - Fully Autonomous Vehicles In 2 Years - Musk
  - Autonomous Cars In Snow? Ford, University Of Michigan Say Yes!
  - Chris Brewer Speaks at Michigan Robotics
  - China Bans Self-Driving Car Testing
  - Amazing Tesla Autopilot Video
  - Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
  - The Details Of Teslaís FSD Full Self-Driving

Articles related to Vehicle
Alcohol-Sensing Cars - NTSB Catches Up With Philip K. Dick (1963)
Tianjin Solar Vehicle From Hanergy (2022) Looking Like Heinlein's (1940)
Sky Cruise Nuclear Powered Flying Hotel Concept
Lightyear 0 World's First Production-Ready Solar Car

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

The Far Side Of The Moon, By NASA (2015) And By PAUL (1932)
"We had leisure to make a thorough observation of the hidden side of earth's satellite."

LoadRunner Robot Works Alone, Or In A Group
'They marched in unison, seven of them...'

Sierra Space Inflatable LIFE Habitat Burst Pressure Test
'It was like being inside a balloon...'

Longest Immersed Tunnel Will Connect Denmark and Germany
'... iron tubes... the ends of the tubes were joined to each other...to preserve it from the action of the seawater.'

Alcohol-Sensing Cars - NTSB Catches Up With Philip K. Dick (1963)
'Mr. Garden, you are in no condition to drive....'

Solar-Powered Remote-Control Cockroaches!
'A cable, here, from the controller to the interface plug... wires from that to the brain.'

SolarBotanic Tree For Solar Energy - Would You Need A Forest, Or Just One?
'The slender stalks of a sunshade-photocell collector...'

Metaverse Hardware - Run And Flail Like A Maniac, Or Lie Quietly?
'Holodeck 4 was waiting to be programmed...'

Robot Food Delivery Coming To Campus Near You
'... he rewired the delivery robot so that it would serve him midnight snacks.'

Are Craiyon Images Puddinged, ala Philip K. Dick?
'I stood in line for half an hour for this, and it's just a blob!'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Science Fiction Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.