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"I'm a farm boy. It's very interesting; you can detect self-starting characteristics in this society and they are strongest among people who have had some kind of rural upbringing and a very impressionable stage."
- Frank Herbert

Leading Machine  
  An exploratory device; it takes the form of an autonomous motorcycle.  

This is a very early description of what amounts to an autonomous motorcycle.

A half dozen motorcycles were approaching, coming on like the wind. They advanced in a rank, abreast of each other and about a hundred yards apart. In a few seconds they changed from tiny dots on the smooth grass to hurtling, smoking masses, bearing down precipitately upon us.

A panic, wild and terrified, seized upon the gathered committee. Everybody got up and ran...


(Leading Machine from 'Paradise and Iron' by Miles Breuer)

In another moment the machines had whizzed by and turned into disappearing dots in the eastern distance. They were tiny things, not over three feet high, and there certainly were no people on them...

"That is only the regular green-patrol of the Hopo field,” he went on. “But we are nervous and jumpy. Look!”

He pointed toward the city. Several more dark bulks were slowly approaching.

“They come by every third or fourth day. There come the mowers and rollers. Those little things go on ahead to assure a clear track and lay out the course. ‘Leading-machines,’ we have come to call them. They are in common use for all automatic mechanical work."

Technovelgy from Paradise and Iron, by Miles J. Breuer.
Published by Amazing Stories Quarterly in 1930
Additional resources -

Compare to the gyrocar from Two Boys in a Gyrocar the story of a New York to Paris motor race (1911) by Kenneth Brown, the Gyro-Hat from An Experiment in Gyro-Hats (1926) by Ellis Parker Butler, the tumblebug from The Roads Must Roll (1940) by Robert Heinlein, the Two-Wheeled Ground Car from First Lensman (1950) by E.E. 'Doc' Smith, the Gyro Two-Wheeled Truck from The Sign of the Tiger (1958) by Alan Nourse (w/Meyer) and the smart bike from Distraction (1998) by Bruce Sterling.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Paradise and Iron
  More Ideas and Technology by Miles J. Breuer
  Tech news articles related to Paradise and Iron
  Tech news articles related to works by Miles J. Breuer

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