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

"What has allowed so many Psychopathic Personalities to rise so high in corporations and government, is that they are so decisive. Unlike normal people, they are never filled with doubts, for the simple reason that they cannot care what happens next."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

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 -

This quote seems more and more prophetic today:

The world-wide dominance of such machines, Chris’s father had often said, had been one of the chief contributors to the present and apparently permanent depression: the coming of semi-intelligent machines had created a second Industrial Revolution, in which only the most highly creative human beings, and those most fitted at administration, found themselves with any skills to sell which were worth the world’s money to buy.

Compare to the automatic automobile from David H. Keller's 1935 story The Living Machine and the aircab from the 1955 novel Time Crime by H. Beam Piper.

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

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!
  - Will The Dashboard Disappear From Autonomous Cars?
  - EHang 184 AAV Passenger Drone Future Of Commuting?
  - Human-Carrying Drone Taxi 184 Approved For Test Flights
  - Vahana, The Airbus Flying Taxi
  - Griff 300 Octocopter Carries You And Friend
  - Cormorant Flying Car
  - Rolls Royce eVTOL Flying Car
  - Audi Pop.Up Autonomous Electric Flying Car

Articles related to Vehicle
Sky Cruise Nuclear Powered Flying Hotel Concept
Lightyear 0 World's First Production-Ready Solar Car
Elon Musk: Production Of Robotaxis In 2024
Autonomous Waymo Jaguar I-PACEs In San Francisco

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

Sky Cruise Nuclear Powered Flying Hotel Concept
'... the huge air-freighter Jupiter.'

The Mojo Smart Contact Lens Experience
'... the lens displays would be useless without a wearable computer to do the graphics.'

Small Town Wants 60 License Plate Readers
'the registration number which the traffic control automatically photographed as she left the controlway...'

Lightyear 0 World's First Production-Ready Solar Car
'It could maintain a steady six miles per hour...'

AI Robots Excel At Trash Sorting And Recycling
'Then they press one of these here thirteen buttons...'

Could Increased Space Rocketry Damage The Ozone Layer?
'...without burning a single hydrocarbon molecule to injure the diseased atmosphere any further.'

Dyson's Secret Household Robots
'...work a human being does around a house.'

Festo BionicSwift Bird Robots Described In 1930
'Bird-like robots now descended from the ceiling of the theatre...'

Robotics Jobs In The Food Industry
'The efficient robot waiter of the Sky Club had cleared away the remnants of an epicurean meal.'

Prototype 3D Printer Could Print Arteries In Seconds
'...in the tank the new body and the new mind and memory and life has taken almost instant form.'

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.