Inside Kitt, the Knight Industries Two Thousand

KITT is a fictional artificial intelligence built into a black Pontiac Trans Am in the popular Knight Rider TV series, which ran between September 26, 1982, and August 8, 1986 starring David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight.

The KITT AI was originally created by Wilton Knight, a brilliant but eccentric billionaire, and then used by the U.S. government. The artificial intelligence relied an a Knight 2000 microprocessor which was the center of a “self-aware” cybernetic logic module that allowed KITT to think, learn, communicate and interact with humans. It was first installed in a mainframe computer in Washington D.C.. Later on, Wilton Knight modified the computer system and implemented it into a Pontiac car to be used by his own association, the Foundation for Law and Government.

The car featured an Anamorphic Equalizer which allowed KITT to see, visible as a red scan-bar on the front of the car. The fiber-optic array of electronic eyes could see in all visual wavelengths as well as X-Ray and infrared. An Etymotic Equalizer allowed him to hear and his voice synthesizer allowed him to speak in english, french and spanish, and also to simulate other sounds. Furthermore he could smell using an atmospheric sampling device.

Neither the Knight 2000 CPU clock nor the exact amount of memory of the KITT AI are known. The AI supercomputer used the so-called Alpha Circuit to drive the Pontiac, which can be disabled to run the car in “manual override” mode. The entire AI can also be shut down using a hidden switch and setting dial under the dash.

KITT was also able to drive the car by himself, even better than any human could. It also offered a lot of gimmicks such the Turbo Boost (which allows to jump over obstaclesby quickly accelerating to speeds in excess of 200 mph), a “Tri-Helical Plasteel 1000 Molecular Bonded Shell” armored plating which resists weapon fire as well as the “Super Pursuit Mode” which was added at a later stage.

Most features could be activated automatically by KITT or manually be the driver, using a multitude of buttons and panels in the cockpit – and it had LOTS of features, so here’s just a basic list: police lights and a siren, a grappling hook and winch, a parachute, it could leak oil onto the road or produce smoke, it had a flame thrower, a tear gas launcher, ultramagnesium charges to divert heat-seeking missiles, traction spikes, a microwave jammer, tracking systems, an onboard laser powerpack, a bomb sniffer, a medical scanner, deflatable tires, self-tinting windows, a voice stress analyzer, a rotating license plate, a seat ejection system and much more (the entire list would be just too long).

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