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Douglas Quaid tries to instruct a Johnny Cab android, to get a move on. Arnold Schwarzenegger was instrumental in bringing this film to life, nurturing it, gathering movie making talent and finally turning it into a box office success. Nice on Arnie.




As with many predictions for the future, particularly as applies to film directors and science fiction writers, thirty years on and we are nearing real Johnny Cabs entering service in cities, but none are yet at Level 5.


Johnny Cab is an automated taxi service, consisting of small self-driving vehicles piloted by an integrated conversational android that acts on passenger voice commands. Much like a human taxi driver, “Johnny” will whistle tunes and engage in small talk during the ride, and is even capable of expressing emotional states. The concept of Johnny Cab was inspired from the taxi “robot driver of the cab” in Philip K. Dick’s short story (1966), We Can Remember It for You Wholesale.




Download the PonyPilot smartphone app for their robotaxi service in Irvine, California - Self driving trucks for freeway haulage logistics is all the rage at the moment for investors looking for the latest digital gold rush. Kodiak joins Waymo, Aurora, TuSimple and AutoX as they look for the elusive holy grail of AI on the road, somewhat blowing wildcard Tesla into the weeds. You can read more about these companies and the media coverage, and reviews, on this site. Strangely, even with the hydrogen revolution taking place all over the world, there is as yet no energy vending system for these autonomous vehicles. It's competition as usual, in a world calling for collaboration.

Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, and Michael Ironside. 

The film tells the story of a construction worker who suddenly finds himself embroiled in espionage on Mars and unable to determine if the experiences are real or the result of memory implants. It was written by Ronald Shusett, Dan O'Bannon, Jon Povill, and Gary Goldman, and won a Special Achievement Academy Award for its visual effects. The original score, composed by Jerry Goldsmith, won the BMI Film Music Award.

With a budget of $50–60 million, Total Recall was one of the most expensive films made at the time of its release, although estimates of its production budget vary and whether it ever actually held the record is not certain. The film grossed $261 million worldwide.

The original screenplay was written by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett, the writers of Alien, who wrote the initial script before their collaboration on Alien. They had bought the rights to Philip K. Dick's short story while Dick was still alive. Unable to find a backer for the project, it drifted into development hell, passing from studio to studio for several years, during which time approximately forty drafts of the script were written.

The collapse of De Laurentiis' company provided an opening for Schwarzenegger, who had unsuccessfully approached the producer about starring in the film. Schwarzenegger had first become aware of the project while filming Raw Deal, which had been distributed by De Laurentiis Entertainment Group. He initially discussed doing the film with Predator producer Joel Silver while working on that film, but this project would never come to fruition. He persuaded Carolco to buy the rights to the film for a comparatively cheap $3 million and negotiated a salary of $10–11 million (plus 15% of the profits) to star, with an unusually broad degree of control over the production. He obtained veto power over the producer, director, screenplay, co-stars, and promotion.






Schwarzenegger first personally recruited Paul Verhoeven to direct the film, having been impressed by the Dutch director's RoboCop (for which Schwarzenegger was considered for the title role). By this time, the script had been through 42 drafts, but it still lacked a third act. Gary Goldman was then brought in by Schwarzenegger to work with Ronald Shusett to develop the final draft of the screenplay. The director also brought in many of his collaborators on RoboCop, including actor Ronny Cox, cinematographer Jost Vacano, production designer William Sandell, editor Frank J. Urioste, and special-effects designer Rob Bottin.

Much of the filming took place from 20 March 1989 to 23 August 1989 on location in Mexico City and at Estudios Churubusco. The futuristic subway station and vehicles are actually part of the Mexico City Metro, with the subway cars painted gray and television monitors added. The interior of the metro stations Chabacano and Universidad and the exterior of the metro station Insurgents were shot.







AUTOX - This is one of the growing fleet of AutoX robotaxis currently operating in China. Along with Waymo in the US, the advent of robotic cars is creating quite a stir in media articles as you can see from the coverage featured on this website, and how delightful it will be when buses and our personal vehicles, automatically take us to our destinations, free of speeding tickets - and safer - also with less harm to the environment as tire wear will be reduced.




The initial marketing of the film was done by TriStar Pictures, which presented the film in a vague, dramatic fashion with none of the action sequences. The trailer did not score well with test audiences. When Schwarzenegger saw the trailer, he felt it cheapened the film, and made contact with Peter Guber, his friend who was the head of Sony Pictures which owned TriStar, to work out how to improve the film's marketing. Guber brought in the firm of Cimarron-Bacon-O’Brien, which had done trailers for The Empire Strikes Back and The Terminator, to produce a new trailer, focusing more on the action-oriented parts of Total Recall with heavy emphasis on Schwarzenegger's role. The new trailer was much more successful with test audiences, and translated to a US$25.5 million box office on its first three days of opening.

The film was initially given an X rating, one of the last films to be given such. As with Verhoeven's Robocop before, violence was trimmed and different camera angles were used in the over-the-top scenes for an R rating. The number of on-screen deaths in Total Recall was considered extremely high at the time, and this fact was later spoofed in the film Hot Shots! Part Deux.








Total Recall received an 82% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 73 reviews, with an average rating of 7.40/10. The site's critical consensus states "Under Paul Verhoeven's frenetic direction, Total Recall is a fast-paced rush of violence, gore, and humor that never slacks." Metacritic rated it 57 out of 100 based on 17 reviews. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.







FORBES 30 JUNE 2020 GETTING VALUE FROM ZOOX - Last week e-commerce giant and connoisseur of applied robotics, Amazon AMZN -1.5%, announced it was acquiring Zoox, the 1000 person robotaxi company that sought not just to deploy L4 vehicles but to fundamentally re-imagine the car.




In 2084, construction worker Douglas Quaid is having troubling dreams about Mars and a mysterious woman there. His wife Lori is dismissive of Mars, where the governor, Vilos Cohaagen, is fighting a rebellion. Quaid visits Rekall, a company that implants false memories of vacations, and chooses a "trip" to Mars as a secret agent. However, the procedure goes wrong because Quaid has suppressed memories of actually being a secret agent on Mars.

The Rekall employees sedate him, wipe his memory of the visit, and send him home. On the way, Quaid is attacked by his work colleague Harry and other men, and is forced to kill them. At home, Lori attacks him, stating that their marriage is a false memory implant, and "the Agency" sent her to monitor Quaid. Quaid incapacitates Lori and runs off, pursued by armed men led by Richter, Cohaagen's operative and Lori's real husband.

After evading his attackers, Quaid is given a suitcase containing money, gadgets, fake IDs, and a video recording in which Quaid identifies himself as Hauser and explains that he used to work for Cohaagen, but switched sides after learning about an alien artifact on Mars, undergoing the memory wipe to protect himself. Hauser instructs Quaid to remove a tracking device located inside his skull and orders him to go to Mars. On arrival, Quaid finds a note from Hauser directing him to Venusville, a red light district populated by people mutated as a result of poor radiation shielding. He meets Benny, a taxi driver, and Melina, the woman from his dreams, but she spurns him, believing that he is still working for Cohaagen.

Quaid later encounters Rekall's Dr. Edgemar and Lori. Edgemar states that due to a "schizoid embolism", Quaid is trapped in a fantasy from the implanted memories: he had himself and Lori inserted into the fantasy and offers a "pill" that will signal Quaid to wake up. Seeing Edgemar sweating, Quaid realizes he is real and kills him. Richter's men burst into the room and capture Quaid, but Melina arrives and attacks the men. Quaid kills Lori and escapes with Melina.

They flee to Venusville with Benny, and are ushered into a secret tunnel. Unable to locate Quaid, Cohaagen shuts down the area's ventilation, slowly asphyxiating everyone. Quaid, Melina, and Benny are taken to a rebel base where Quaid is introduced to their leader, the mutant Kuato who is conjoined to his brother George. Kuato reads Quaid's mind, recalling a discussion with Cohaagen and Richter about the Martian artifact and its purpose. Cohaagen's forces burst in and kill most of the rebels. Quaid, George/Kuato, Melina, and Benny escape to an airlock, but shockingly, Benny kills George and reveals his alliance with Cohaagen. Before dying, Kuato implores Quaid to activate the alien reactor.

Quaid and Melina are taken to Cohaagen, who plays another video, in which Hauser explains that the Quaid persona was a ploy to fool the mutants' psychic abilities, infiltrate the mutants, and expose Kuato, thereby wiping out the rebellion. Cohaagen orders Quaid reprogrammed with Hauser's memories and Melina reprogrammed as his obedient "babe", but they escape into the mines where the reactor is located. Benny attacks them in an excavation machine, but Quaid kills him. Quaid and Melina then outwit and kill Richter and his men lying in ambush for them.

Quaid reaches the reactor control room, where Cohaagen is waiting with a bomb, claiming that starting the reactor will destroy them all. Melina arrives and shoots Cohaagen, but he starts the bomb timer. Quaid throws the bomb down a tunnel, leading to an explosive decompression. Quaid pushes Cohaagen aside, blowing him out onto the Martian surface, where he suffocates and dies. Quaid manages to activate the reactor before he and Melina are also blown out.

The reactor rods deploy, sublimating the turbinium glacier underneath and releasing gas, which bursts to the surface and forms a breathable planetary atmosphere. Quaid and Melina manage to survive their brief decompression. With the new breathable atmosphere, Venusville and the rest of Mars' population are saved. As everyone beholds the newly blue sky, Quaid momentarily pauses to wonder whether he is dreaming or not, before turning to kiss Melina. 






“YOU'RE IN A JOHNNY CAB” - By today’s standards the concept and use of self-driving cars as a technology prediction in the 1991 film, Total Recall. As far as the accuracy of that prediction, it’s nearly spot-on. The film is set far enough into the future that it’s reasonable to assume most of the technical kinks would have been worked out. The other significant thing to notice is where in Total Recall they use self-driving technology: in taxi cabs.




Douglas Quaid : Where am I?

Johnnycab : You're in a Johnnycab.

Douglas Quaid : I mean, what am I doing here?

Johnnycab : I'm sorry. Would you please rephrase the question?

Douglas Quaid : How did I get in this taxi?

Johnnycab : The door opened. You got in.

[Johnnycab rolls his eyes] 

[the taxicab pulls up] 

Johnnycab : The fare is 18 credits, please.

[Quaid gets out] 

Douglas Quaid : Sue me, dickhead!

[cab tries to run him down, crashes, and explodes] 

Johnnycab : We hope you enjoyed the ride!

[Quaid enters a Johnnycab to escape from killers] 

Johnnycab : Please state the street and number.

Douglas Quaid : Drive! drive!

Johnnycab : I'm not familiar with that address. Would you please repeat the destination?

Douglas Quaid : Anywhere just go! Go!

Johnnycab : I'm not familiar with that address. Would you please repeat the destination?

Douglas Quaid : Shit! shit!

Johnnycab : Would you please repeat the destination?

Douglas Quaid : [Quaid rips the Johnnycab out and starts to drive himself] Aaahhh!















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