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- Alfred Bester

Robot Cab Driver  
  You think you have problems? Robots have the worst problems of anyone.  

In his short story A Present For Pat, Philip K. Dick tells the story of Eric Blake, who runs into all sorts of problems as a result of bringing a Ganymedean Weather Deity back from a trip to the moons of Jupiter.

On his way back from a bad day at the office, Eric asks his robot cab driver what it would do with the kind of problems that human beings have.

"Robots have no wives," the driver said. "They are nonsexual. Robots have no friends, either. They are incapable of emotional relationships."

"Can robots be fired?"

"Sometimes." The robot drew his cab up before Eric's modest six-room bungalow. "But consider. Robots are frequently melted down and new robots made from the remains. Recall Ibsen's Peer Gynt, the section concerning the Button Molder. The lines clearly anticipate in symbolic form the trauma of robots to come."

"Yeah." The door opened and Eric got out. "I guess we all have our problems."

"Robots have worse problems than anybody." The door shut and the cab zipped off, back down the hill.

From A Present for Pat, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Not Known in 1952
Additional resources -

Classic Dick. This is a great short story collection.

Compare to the autocabfrom Between Planets (1951), by Robert Heinlein.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Present for Pat
  More Ideas and Technology by Philip K. Dick
  Tech news articles related to A Present for Pat
  Tech news articles related to works by Philip K. Dick

Robot Cab Driver-related news articles:
  - RobuCAB Robotic Taxi
  - RUTH Robot Is 'Inspecting' Your Car
  - Autonomous Cars Will Own Themselves
  - Do You Really Want Your Car To Talk To Pedestrians?

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