One icon of the 1980’s was a black Trans-Am with a red light sliding back and forth across the front of the car. This wasn’t just a car; it even had a personality, and a name. His name was KITT, standing for Knight Industries Two Thousand.
This car had everything that an imagination could think of in the 1980s. The basic premise of KITT was that a super computer had been installed into a vehicle. He was a car with artificial intelligence allowing him to in essence learn and think, as well as converse with humans. In addition to that, he was able to drive himself, he was bulletproof, fireproof and had afterburners to provide ridiculously quick acceleration. KITT also was equipped with a Turbo Boost function which was probably one of the most used accessories for KITT on the show. KITT was able to see, hear and smell. KITT was able to provide video conferencing to the rest of the team supporting Michael Knight, KITT’s driver. KITT also had a wide variety of weaponry. He had oil slicks and smoke screens, tear gas, a flame thrower and explosives.
KITT was often driven into a semi trailer, which held the FLAG mobile headquarters. FLAG was the organization that owned KITT and employed Michael. In the headquarters, KITT was able to get all of his mechanical needs met. One of my favourite KITT accessories was Michael’s watch which he was able to use to talk to KITT. As a kid, you always have a watch, and if you don’t you still have a wrist, you could always pretend to be Michael Knight on a mission and be talking to KITT who was outside somewhere.
I think that while partnered together KITT and Michael became best friends. They were each other’s only consistent company. Can you imagine being best friends with a machine? Friends with a faceless voice? I can’t imagine it, but KITT did seem very nice. I wonder if he was programmed to have feelings. If something had happened to Michael, would KITT have started leaking washer fluid as a way of crying? Could he actually be worried when they were in dangerous situations? I wonder if Michael wondered these things as he and KITT raced along the highways. Was he ever able to make complete use of all KITT’s capabilities? KITT type vehicles would certainly be useful in law enforcement today. Perhaps we could all use these vehicles, without weapons of course, and virtually eliminate traffic accidents. At the least let’s get a fleet of them, and give one to every bar, so we don’t have drunk drivers all over the roads.
I remember watching one episode as a kid in which Michael was sleeping while KITT was driving. I can recall thinking how awesome it would be to be able to do that. I also remember pushing buttons in my parent’s cars whenever we were driving somewhere and saying “Turbo Boost”. Yes, you can call me a nerd, I definitely was one in those days, but it was still fun and I would do it all over again.