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"We follow the scientists around and look over their shoulders. They're watching their feet: provable mistakes are bad for them. We're looking as far ahead as we can, and we don't get penalized for mistakes."
- Larry Niven

Tin Cabby (Flying Robotic Taxi)  
  An autonomously controlled flying taxi cab.  

In the future world of Cities in Flight, the creation of semi-intelligent machines made most regular jobs obsolete - like that of cab drivers.

The cab came floating down out of the sky at the intersection and maneuvered itself to rest at the curb next to them with a finicky precision. There was, of course, nobody in it; like everything else in the world requiring an IQ of less than 150, it was computer-controlled...

Chris studied the cab with the liveliest interest, for though he had often seen them before from a distance, he had of course never ridden in one. But there was very little to see. The cab was an egg-shaped bubble of light metals and plastics, painted with large red-and-white checkers, with a row of windows running all around it. Inside, there were two seats for four people, a speaker grille, and that was all: no controls and no instruments...

The big press-gang leader gestured Chris into the front seat, and himself climbed into the back. The doors slid shut simultaneously from the ceiling and floor, rather like a mouth closing, and the cab lifted gently until it hovered about six feet above street level.

"Destination?" the Tin Cabby said cheerily, making Chris jump.

From Cities in Flight, by James Blish.
Published by Avon in 1957
Additional resources -

Compare to the aircab from the 1955 novel Time Crime by H. Beam Piper

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Cities in Flight
  More Ideas and Technology by James Blish
  Tech news articles related to Cities in Flight
  Tech news articles related to works by James Blish

Tin Cabby (Flying Robotic Taxi)-related news articles:
  - ULTra PRT (Personal Rapid Transit) Planned For London
  - ULTra Personal Pod Driverless Taxis Here!

Articles related to Vehicle
Cruise Automation's 'Highway Autopilot' For $10K
myCopter Personal Aerial Vehicle (PAV)
Spam Autonomous Cars And Philip K. Dick
Toyota's Camatte Has William Gibson's Digital Hood

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