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"I kind of take it for granted that our great-grandchildren will regard us as a sort of precursor species. That they won't think of us as human and if we could see them, we probably wouldn't think of them as human either."
- William Gibson

Camden Speedster  
  A super sports utility vehicle (SUV); it drives on the highway, the water and jumps into the air for short periods.  

Okay, so you've got one of those wimpy SUVs; what's the point of an off-road vehicle that can't drive underwater or jump over barriers? This is a vehicle that does it all.

Mary Risling had no intention of permitting anyone to know where she was going. She dropped down the lift tube outside Ventura's apartment, claimed her speedy little ground car from the attending automaton in the basement, and set the control combination for North Shore. The car slid up the ramp, waited until the traffic control signaled a predicted break in traffic, then joined the high-speed northbound stream. Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...

She woke just before the signal from the car which would have called her... She signaled the traffic control ahead; it cut her out of the stream of vehicles and reduced the speed of her car, then rang the alarm which notified her to resume local control. Before doing so she fumbled in the storage compartment on the instrument board and fumbled, apparently purposelessly.

But the registration number which the traffic control automatically photographed as she left the controlway was not the number in which the car was registered.

She followed the side road for a distance of several miles at a speed high for even a Camden speedster, turned down into a narrow country road which ran down near to the lakeshore, and stopped.

She waited, lights out and sideport open.

...She reached again into the storage compartment, snapped something, and the back of the speed dial glowed, revealing another dial beyond. She studied it and made adjustments.

Had there been a bystander, he would have been startled to observe what appeared to be a standard Camden rise up off the ground as easily as a skycar. He would not have long to wonder - the car moved out over the lake, dropped down to the water and sank beneath it. Seventeen minutes later, the car rose up to the surface of a small pool of water, a pool that occupied much of the floor of an artificial cavern.

From Methuselah's Children, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1941
Additional resources -

Compare to the automatic automobile from The Living Machine by David Keller 1935 and the smart piston spokes from Heavy Weather (1994) by Bruce Sterling.

There was an actual car from the 1960's that could double as a car and as a boat. In the summer of 2003, Alan Gibbs had a team of engineers working for years to perfect the latest version, the Aquada, which travels at 100 miles-per-hour on land and 30 miles-per-hour on the water. See pictures of this amazing craft at Check out the car-boat. A bargain at $235,000; where else can you get something this cool?

If you are more concerned with something that is more environmentally friendly, see the future of SUVs; a diesel-electric hybrid powered by both a 1.8 liter direct-injection turbo diesel engine and an electric motor. Compared to a Ford Explorer, it achieves a 100% improvement of fuel economy - 40 miles per gallon. Created by student engineers in Minnesota.

For a novelist's view of an amphibious craft, see William Gibson's take on the hovercraft, from his novel Mona Lisa Overdrive.

Compare to The Terror - a flying car, boat, submarine and plane from Jules Verne's 1904 novel Master of the World.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Methuselah's Children
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Methuselah's Children
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Camden Speedster-related news articles:
  - Adaptive Cruise Control
  - Electronic Number Plate RFID Keeps Tabs On Vehicles
  - Honda Accord ADAS Heinlein Wannabe
  - BMW Plans Fully Autonomous Cars By 2025
  - Rinspeed 'Splash' English Channel Crossing
  - DARPA Urban Challenge For Autonomous Vehicles
  - Carnegie Mellon's Boss Wins DARPA Urban Challenge
  - GM Betting On Driverless Cars
  - Pribot Robotic Prius Tours 'Frisco
  - Attention Assist - Drowsy-Driver Detection Standard
  - WaterCar Python Not Your Father's Amphicar
  - Google's Autonomous Robotic Car
  - Autonomous Cars In Nevada?
  - Don't Drive Your Self-Driving Car
  - Cadillac Super Cruise Self-Driving Car
  - Google Self-Driving Car Now Commuter-Ready
  - Self-Driving Cars Ready To Buy In 5 Years Says Sergey Brin
  - Cruise Automation's 'Highway Autopilot' For $10K
  - Tesla 90 Percent Autonomous Car By 2015 - Elon Musk
  - Robert Heinlein, Your Self-Driving Car Is Almost Ready!
  - Volvo's 'Drive Me' Program Offers Autonomous Cars In 2017
  - Man Filmed Sleeping In Tesla On Autopilot
  - Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
  - Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
  - Tesla Roadster Plus SpaceX Thrusters Equals Rocket Car

Articles related to Vehicle
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Tesla Roadster Plus SpaceX Thrusters Equals Rocket Car
Sono Sion Electric Car Charges As You Drive
Cruise Autonomous Car Drives Aimlessly For An Hour

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