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"it slowly dawned on me that the landscape of science is maybe what interests people a great deal in science fiction."
- Gregory Benford

Grapple Tracks  
  A means of automating the process of parking and releasing passenger vehicles from a parking garage.  

Herbert didn't need to add this detail, but it's an interesting idea. In films like Minority Report, you see vehicles which are sometimes under manual control, and sometimes under the control of a central traffic network. In this case, the difficulty of having a traffic network covering an open road is recognized. Instead, the more sensible place to automate is in a very constricted area - a parking garage.

He activated the grapple tracks. The skitter jerked into motion, danced sideways, and slid smoothly down the driveway to the street.

As they emerged from the parking spire's enclosing shadows, even before the grapple released and Havvy activated the skitter's own power, Jedrik firmed her decision not to look back.

From The Dosadi Experiment, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Berkley Putnam in 1977
Additional resources -

The author uses this detail to both show the ingenuity of the Dosadi, and their painstaking efforts to automate mindless tasks.

Stacked in the building beneath her, each one suspended by its roof grapples on the conveyor track, were the vehicles of the power merchants and their minions. The machines varied from the giant jaigers heavy with armor and weapons and redundant engine systems, of the ruling few, down to the tiny black skitters assigned to such as herself.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Dosadi Experiment
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to The Dosadi Experiment
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

Grapple Tracks-related news articles:
  - Stan, Robot Valet, Will Drag Your Car Away

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