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"the [science fiction] writer should be able to convince the reader (and himself) that the wonders he is describing really can come true...and that gets tricky when you take a good, hard look at the world around you."
- Frederik Pohl

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.

"What would you do," Eric asked the robot cabdriver, "if your wife had turned to stone, your best friend were a toad, and you had lost your job?"

"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.

Technovelgy from A Present for Pat, by Philip K. Dick.
Published by Startling Stories in 1954
Additional resources -

Classic Dick. This is a great short story collection.

However, the idea of a robot driving a car is much older. Consider The Automatic Motorist by W.R. Booth.

Compare to the autocab from 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?
  - TeslaBot Uber Driver (2024) And The Automatic Motorist (1911)

Articles related to Robotics
Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
SpaceHopper Microgravity Robot Lands On Its Feet
No Tips! Robotic Food Delivery In Phoenix
Micro-Robots Are Smallest, Fully Functional

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