KITT was an artificially intelligent electronic computer module installed in a highly advanced (at the time), very mobile 1982 Pontiac Trans Am.
Browsing the web I recently found a list of KITT's "features". Knowing that these were fictional features, I still couldn't help but wonder how far we've actaully come to making cars of the "future" today.
I mean my current car seems pretty advanced. It tells me my current mileage, how far I can drive until I'm out of gas & current weather conditions. I can use Bluetooth technology to listen to my music from my iPhone as well as make hands free phone calls all while driving my car. In my car there's a woman's voice with a british accent that gives me directions to and from my location of choice. Kind of like KITT right?
Here's a list of KITTS feature. There's a few features I wouldn't mind having.
Especially the Money Dispenser.
- Computer AI
- KITT is essentially an advanced supercomputer on wheels. The "brain" of KITT is the Knight 2000 microprocessor which is the centre of a "self-aware" cybernetic logic module that allowed KITT to think, learn, communicate and interact with humans. He always had an ego that was easy to bruise and displayed a very sensitive, but kind and dryly humorous personality. He also has an in-dash entertainment system that can play music and video, and run various computer programs including arcade games which Michael sometimes indulged in while KITT was driving. KITT's reaction time is one nanosecond, and his "memory" capacity is 1,000 megabits.
- Alpha Circuit
- It is part of KITT's main control system which allows the CPU to drive the car.
- Molecular Bonded Shell
- KITT is armored with "Tri-Helical Plasteel 1000 MBS" (Molecular Bonded Shell) plating which protects him from almost all forms of conventional firearms and explosive devices. He could only be harmed by heavy artillery and rockets, and even then, the blast usually left most of his body intact and only damaged internal components. The shell protected every part of the car including the tires. As a result, KITT's body is durable enough to act as a shield for explosives by driving over bombs to cover them and suppress the blast, ram through rigid barriers of strong material like cinder block walls or steel gates without suffering damage himself while damage to the car's structural integrity with its frequent long jumps on turbo boost is never an issue. The shell also protected him from fire and electricity;
- The shell provided a frame tolerance of 223,000 lb (111.5 tons) and a front and rear axle suspension load of 57,000 lb (28.5 tons).
- Pyroclastic Lamination
- KITT is protected by a thermal-resistant coating that can withstand sustained temperatures of up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit (426 °C).
- Power System
- KITT is powered by the Knight Industries turbojet with modified afterburners and a computer controlled 8-speed turbodrive transmission. Specifications 0–60 mph in 2 seconds, standing to quarter mile 4.286 seconds. Electromagnetic hyper-vacuum disc brakes: 14 foot (4.25 m) braking distance (70–0 mph - 112–0 km/h).
- Turbo Boost
- A pair of rocket boosters mounted just behind the front tires that lifted the car, allowing KITT to jump into the air and pass over obstacles in the road. Also, occasionally, Turbo Boost was used to allow KITT to accelerate to incredible speeds in excess of 200 mph (322 km/h). The boosters could fire forward or backward.
- Voice (Anharmonic) Synthesizer
- KITT's Voice Synthesizer allowed his logic module to speak and communicate. With it, KITT could also simulate other sounds. KITT's primary spoken language was English; however by accessing his language module, he could speak fluently in Spanish, French and much more. The module can be adjusted giving KITT different accents.
- Voice Projection
- KITT can project his voice at any position.
- Anamorphic Equalizer
- KITT's most apparent feature was his front scan bar called the Anamorphic Equalizer. The device is a fibre-optic array of electronic eyes. The scanner could see in all visual wavelengths as well as X-ray and infrared. Occasionally, the bar could pulse in different patterns and sweep rapidly or very slowly. The scanner is also KITT's most vulnerable area.
- Etymotic Equalizer
- This system allowed KITT to hear sound. An array of audio sensors was threaded throughout his interior and exterior.
- Olfactory Sensor
- KITT could "smell" via an atmospheric sampling device mounted in his front bumper.
- Microscanners are tiny audio and visual sensors embedded into the grooves of KITT's body. They allow for visual tracking and display of anything around the car.
- Cruise Modes
- These are KITT's three drive modes:
Normal Cruise - On "Normal", Michael has control of the car. In an emergency, KITT could still take over and activate Auto Cruise mode.
Auto Cruise - In "Auto", KITT could drive himself utilizing an advanced Auto Collision Avoidance system.
Pursuit - "Pursuit" is used during high-speed driving and is a combination of manual and computer assisted operation. KITT could respond to road conditions faster than Michael's reflexes could; however, Michael was technically in control of the vehicle and KITT helped guide certain maneuvers.
Super pursuit - KITT's Super-Pursuit mode was added at the start of the fourth season. It was the result of a redesign of the car to integrate new concepts consisting of improved rocket boosters for enhanced acceleration, retractable spoilers for aerodynamic stability, and movable air inlets for increased cooling. Super-Pursuit Mode provided a 40% boost in speed beyond the car's original top speed of 300 MPH. First used in Episode 70, "Knight of the Juggernaut, Part II".
- Silent Mode
- KITT could run silently. The feature dampened his engine noise and allows him to sneak around.
- Grappling Hook and Winch
- KITT has a hidden winch and grappling hook system, one mounted under his front bumper, and another in a compartment behind his tail light plate. Most often the hook is connected by a strong cable, but a metal arm has also been seen.
- Oil Jets/Smoke Screen
- KITT could spray an oil slick and a plume of smoke from under the rear bumper.
- Induction coil
- KITT has an induction coil he can produce from under his front bumper and that, being placed on a metal object, can be used by KITT to induce electrical voltage or current in that object.
- Flame Thrower
- KITT has flame throwers mounted under his bumpers.
- Tear Gas Launcher
- KITT can dispense a cloud of tear gas along with his smoke screen.
- Ultramagnesium Charges
- KITT can launch magnesium flares, which can also be used to divert heat-seeking missiles fired at him.
- High Traction Drop Downs
- When activated, the HTDD system hydraulically raises KITT's chassis for better traction when driving off-road.
- Telephone Comlink
- Michael could contact home base and communicate with Devon and others using KITT's video display.
- Microwave Jammer
- KITT has an electronic jamming system that played havoc on electrical systems. The three main components are the Electromagnetic Field Generator, Electronic Field Disrupter and Microwave Ignition Sensor. The system could take control of electronic machines, allowing things like cheating at slot machines, breaking electronic locks, fouling security cameras, and withdrawing money from ATMs.
- KITT could lock the brakes of other vehicles. This system is believed to work by utilizing focused microwaves to heat the brake fluid, causing it to expand and apply the brakes of the car.
- Surveillance Mode
- Surveillance Mode did several things:
KITT could detect people and vehicles and track their movements and discern proximity.
KITT could gather structural schematics of buildings, vehicles, or other devices and help Michael avoid potential danger when he was snooping.
KITT could also monitor radio transmissions and telephone communications within a location and trace those calls.
KITT could tap into computer systems to monitor, or upload and download information as long as he could break the access codes.
- Infrared Tracking Scope
- KITT could monitor the position of specific vehicles in the area within 10 miles.
- Laser Powerpack
- KITT can fire a high powered ultra-frequency modulated laser capable of burning through steel plating. Like most of KITT's components, the schematics for the laser device are classified.
- Bomb Sniffer
- KITT is equipped with a bomb sniffer module that can detect explosives within a few yards of the vehicle.
- Medical scanner
- KITT has a medical scanner that includes an electrocardiograph (ECG). The medical scanner can monitor the vital signs of individuals and display them on his monitors. It could indicate such conditions as if they were injured, poisoned, undergoing stress or other emotional behavior. KITT could even monitor Michael's physical activity through sensors inside the driver seat.
- Tintable Windows
- KITT can tint the windshield and windows.
- Deflatable Tires
- KITT could deflate and re-inflate his tires.
- Fuel Processor
- KITT was powered by a turbine engine primarily fueled by hydrogen gas. However, his complex fuel processor allows him to run on any combustible liquid, even regular gasoline. KITT's actual fuel requirements and efficiency ratings were classified, however in one episode, KITT mentioned his fuel economy was at least 65 miles per gallon. However, when operating on fuels other than liquid hydrogen, KITT's fuel efficiency and power output may be lowered.
- Voice Stress Analyzer
- KITT can process spoken voices and determine if someone may be lying.
- Seat Ejection System
- KITT had two front ejection seats, mostly used when Michael needed a boost to fire escapes or building roof tops.
- Passive Laser Restraint System
- Added to KITT in later seasons, the restraint system helped protect Michael and any passengers from the shock of sudden impacts and hard stopping, especially after Super-Pursuit Mode. It is speculated that this is a primitive form of an inertial damping device.
- Video Display Monitors
- KITT had two CRT video display monitors on his dash for various readouts. They are controlled by two systems, the Graphic Translator (which sketches likenesses from verbal input) and the Anamorphic Equalizer (which gathered visual information from KITT's front scan bar) and microscanners. KITT only had one when his dash was redesigned for the show's third season.
- Computer Print Out
- KITT could print hard copies of data on a dashboard-mounted printer.
- Money Dispenser
- KITT could give Michael money when he needed it.
- Ultraphonic Chemical Analyzer
- KITT has a retractable tray with an electron scanner that could analyze the chemical properties of various materials. It could even scan fingerprints and read ballistic information off bullets and compare these with a police database. Aside from the scanning tray, the system could also analyze chemical information gathered from KITT's exterior sensors.
- Interior Oxygenator
- KITT could release oxygen into his driver compartment and provide air to passengers if he was ever submerged in water or buried in earth. This is also used to overcome the effects of certain drugs.
- Two-Wheel Ski Drive
- The Ski Mode setting allowed KITT to "ski" (driving up on two wheels).
- Third Stage Aquatic Synthesizer
- With this system, KITT can hydroplane, effectively "driving" on water, using his wheels and turbo system for propulsion.
- Emergency Braking System
- The EBS slowed KITT down from Super-Pursuit speeds. It consisted of a forward braking booster and air panels that popped out to create air friction (air brakes).
- Convertible Roof
- Added fourth season, by pressing the "C" button on KITT's dash, Michael could bring the top down and KITT became a convertible.
- KITT is in constant contact with Michael via a two-way communication wristwatch (a modified '80s LCD AM radio watch) Michael wore. The watch also had a micro camera and scanner that KITT could access to gather information.
- Homing Device
- In dire emergency, Michael can activate a secret homing beacon hidden inside a gold pendant he wears around his neck. The beacon sends a priority signal that can remotely activate KITT and override his programming so that he rushes to Michael's aid.