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K.I.T.T. (2000)

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Knight Rider Character
K.I.T.T. (2000)
KITT2000
Actor William Daniels
Real Name Knight Industries Two Thousand Micro Processor
Alias(es) K.I.T.T.
Knight 2000
Birth Date c. 1982
Death Date
Age
Affiliations Knight Industries
Foundation for Law and Government
Position Field Unit
Related Characters Wilton Knight
Charles Graiman
K.A.R.R.
Knight 3000
Knight 4000
Partners Michael Knight
Shawn McCormick
 
KITT (an acronym for Knight Industries Two Thousand) is a fictional computer that controls the high-tech Knight 2000, a black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am T-top automobile. The voice for KITT was provided by actor William Daniels, who requested that he not be credited for his work.

History

In the original series' fictional history, KITT was consived and designed by the late Wilton Knight, a brilliant but eccentric billionaire and founder of the Foundation for Law and Government, (commonly shortened to "FLAG"), and its parent Knight Industries.

KITT's main cybernetic processor was first installed in a mainframe computer used by the United States government in Washington D.C..[1] However, Wilton saw better use for "him" in the Foundation's crime-fighting crusade and eventually the system was installed in the vehicle. KITT was in fact the second vehicle built by Knight Industries with artificial intelligence. His predecessor was KARR, the Knight Automated Roving Robot. KARR was programmed for self-preservation, but this proved to be dangerous to the Foundation's interests. KARR was later deactivated and placed in storage while KITT was given to his new operator, Michael Knight (the new identity of Michael Long).

Unlike KARR, KITT is programmed primarily to protect Michael and all human life at all costs. This is made clear in the pilot episode when Michael asks Devon Miles if KITT will protect anyone driving it. Devon's answer is that KITT's primary function is the preservation of human life, and Michael's in particular.

Dismantled & Reborn

In the events of Knight Rider 2000, KITT had been dismantled and parts sold off to medical research companies. His AI system was recovered by Michael and was installed in the dashboard of his 1957 Chevy Bel-Air. KITT's A.I. was later transferred by Michael into the Knight 4000 and promptly serve FLAG as the "new" KITT.

KITT's Features

KITT is loaded with special features, most of which could be activated by buttons on panels to either side of the steering wheel or on a console on the ceiling of the interior. The button function layout was not consistent; some features were used once and never seen again.

KITT underwent a major modification during a refit in 1985 which included the addition of "Super Pursuit Mode" and a convertible top.

Some of KITT's features include the following:

  • Computer AI - KITT was essentially an advanced supercomputer on wheels. The "brain" of KITT was the Knight 2000 microprocessor.
  • 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.
  • Pyroclastic Lamination - KITT is protected by a thermal-resistant coating that can withstand sustained temperatures of up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit. First used in Episode 32, "Ring of Fire".
  • 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 braking distance (70–0 mph).
  • Turbo Boost - a series of rocket motors which provided extra speed and power, as well as the ability to jump over objects and distances.
  • Voice Synthesizer - KITT's Voice Synthesizer allowed his logic module to speak and communicate through his Voice Modulator.
  • Electronic Jamming System - This allows KITT to manipulate other electronic devices, and occasional non-electronic ones.
  • Anamorphic Equalizer - KITT's most obvious external feature was his front scan bar.
  • Etymotic Equalizer - This system allowed KITT to hear sound. An array of audio sensors were threaded throughout his interior and exterior.
  • Olfactory Sensor - KITT could "smell" via an atmospheric sampling device mounted in his front bumper.
  • Microscanners - 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 had control of the car. In an emergency, KITT could still take over and activate Auto Cruise mode. In order to prevent this, one has to use the Manual Override. In the show's fourth season, the word "Cruise" was dropped and indicated simply by the word "Normal".
    • 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.
  • Computer Override - KITT has a hidden switch and setting dial under the dash that either completely shuts down his AI module or deactivates certain systems should the need arise. First used in Episode 17, "Chariot of Gold".
  • Manual Override - KITT has a function which can be activated in order to completely lock the AI from all the vehicle controls. Unlike the Computer Override, Manual Override simply keeps KITT from activating Auto Cruise or preventing anyone inside the car from doing something that would probably hurt them. KITT's AI is still able to protest such actions vocally. First used in Episode 8, "Trust Doesn't Rust".
  • Police Lights/Siren - KITT's headlights can flash red and blue as police lights, and he has a siren. First used in Episode 38, "Race for Life".
  • Silent Mode - KITT could run silently. The feature dampened his engine noise and allow him to sneak around. First used in Episode 37, "White-Line Warriors".
  • 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. The grappling hook is first used in Episode 6, "Not a Drop to Drink"; the winch is first used in Episode 13, "Forget Me Not".
  • Parachute - KITT is equipped with a parachute. First used in Episode 23, "Goliath Returns (Pt. 1)".
  • Oil Jets/Smoke Screen - KITT could spray an oil slick and a plume of smoke from under the rear bumper. First used in Episode 1, "Knight of the Phoenix".
  • Flame Thrower - KITT has flame throwers mounted under his bumpers. First used in Episode 2, "Deadly Maneuvers".
  • Tear Gas Launcher - KITT can dispense a cloud of tear gas along with his smoke screen. First used in Episode 13, "Hearts of Stone".
  • Ultramagnesium Charges - KITT can launch magnesium flares, which can also be used to divert heat-seeking missiles fired at him. First used in Episode 26, "Merchants of Death".
  • High Traction Drop Downs - When activated, the HTDD system hydraulically raises KITT's chassis for better traction when driving off-road. First used in Episode 39, "Speed Demons".
  • Traction Spikes - When activated KITT's tires would have spikes coming out in order for KITT to drive up steep off-road hills. First used in Episode 86, "Hills of Fire".
  • Telephone Comlink - Michael could contact home base and communicate with Devon and others using KITT's video display.
  • 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. For instance, if Michael wanted to know the location of every police vehicle within 5 miles, KITT could display a schematic on his monitors of all police vehicles relative to his position.
  • 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. First used in Episode 24, "Goliath (Pt. 2)".
  • Bomb Sniffer - KITT is equipped with a bomb sniffer module that can detect explosives within a few yards of the vehicle. First used in Episode 25, "Brother's Keeper".
  • 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. First used in Episode 1, "Knight of the Phoenix (Pt. 2)".
  • Deflatable Tires - KITT could deflate and reinflate his tires. First used in Episode 4, "Slammin' Sammy's Stunt Show Spectacular".
  • 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 100 miles per gallon. However, when operating on fuels other than liquid hydrogen, KITT's fuel efficiency and power output may be lowered.
  • Self-Tinting Windows - KITT's windows could darken to opacity for various situations. First used in Episode 14, "Give Me Liberty... or Give Me Death".
  • Voice Stress Analyzer - KITT can process spoken voices and determine if someone may be lying. First used in Episode 26, "Merchants of Death".
  • Auto Doors, Sunroof, and Trunklid - KITT could automatically open and close his doors and T-tops. He could also lock his doors to prevent unauthorized entry into his driver compartment. He could also open his hood automatically.
  • Rotating License Plate - KITT can rotate his KNIGHT license plate to reveal a fictitious one reading "KNI 667". Michael used this to evade police when an APB was placed on him. First used in Episode 25, "Brother's Keeper".
  • Seat Ejection System - KITT had two front ejection seats, mostly used when Michael needed a boost to fire escapes or building roof tops. First used in Episode 1, "Knight of the Phoenix (Pt. 1)".
  • 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. First used in Episode 47, "Knight of the Drones".
  • Video Display Monitors - KITT had two Cathode ray tube 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. First used in Episode 15, "The Topaz Connection".
  • Ultraphonic Chemical Analyzer - KITT has a retractable tray with anelectron 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. First used in Episode 17, "Chariot of Gold".
  • Fire Extinguisher - KITT could put out small fires from a CO2 sprayer in his bumpers.
  • 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. First used in Episode 4, "Slammin' Sammy's Stunt Show Spectacular".
  • Two-Wheel Ski Drive - The Ski Mode setting allowed KITT to "ski" (driving up on two wheels). First used in Episode 1, "Knight of the Phoenix".
  • Third Stage Aquatic Synthesizer - With this system, KITT can hydroplane, effectively "driving" on water, using his wheels and turbo system for propulsion. First used in Episode 28, "Return to Cadiz".
  • Sub Zero - KITT could release cryogenic gases and "flash freeze" the driver compartment. This was used once when a baby tiger managed to get inside to gnaw on his steering wheel and KITT wanted him out. First used in Episode 66, "Knight in Retreat".
  • Sleep Gas - KITT could spray a gas into the driver compartment that could render an unwanted occupant unconscious.
  • Vacuum - KITT could expend all breathable air from the driver compartment, however, only KARR ever threatened to use it to harm someone. KITT used this to rid the compartment of smoke after bombs were detonated in his trunk.
  • Super-Pursuit Mode - 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, 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".
  • Emergency Braking System - The EBS slowed KITT down from Super-Pursuit speeds. It consisted of a forward breaking booster and air panels that popped out to create air friction. First used in Episode 70, "Knight of the Juggernaut".
  • 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. First used in Episode #70, "Knight of the Juggernaut".

An unknown number of these systems were designed at Stanford University (Episode 105: Just My Bill). KITT's total production cost was estimated at $11,400,000 in 1982. (This was KITT's total construction cost as he was first built in 1982. This equals $24,382,861 in 2006 dollars. However, due to inflation and material costs $53,299,730 would be needed in 2006 to purchase the material used in 1982). The cost of subsequent equipment improvements and the installation of additional features since his activation have not been factored.

Other equipment

  • Comlink - 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. Only used in Episode 42, "A Good Knight's Work".
  • F.L.A.G. Mobile Unit (The Semi): K.I.T.T.'s moblie garage.

Appearance

K.I.T.T. was a black Trans Am with some custom body parts for the entirety to the series; however, he did undergo some cosmetic changes during the series. The nose of the car was different for the pilot episode and the remainder of the series. In season 4, K.I.T.T. could now engage his Super Pursuit Mode, Emergency Braking System and his Convertible Mode, all which altered his exterior appearance in some way. For the pilot episode and season one and two, K.I.T.T. had one dashboard style. When K.I.T.T. was rebuilt in the season three premier, and for the remainder of the series, K.I.T.T. was given an updated dashboard.

Notes

  • When asked about KITT's whereabouts, David Hasselhoff indicates that, like Roy Rogers' horse Trigger, KITT is now stuffed and mounted in Hasselhoff's living room. In actual fact, one of the cars used became Hasselhoff's personal property at the end of production and was sold into a private collection in 1992. It can now be seen at the (Cars of the Stars Motor Museum) in Keswick, Cumbria, England.[1]
  • KITT was designed by customizer Michael Scheffe. The convertible and super-pursuit KITTs were designed and built by George Barris.
  • Hasselhoff and "KITT" appeared in an episode of Diff'rent Strokes, but Daniels did not provide the voice.
  • KITT accompanied David Hasselhoff when he performed onstage, singing one of his songs at Disneyland back in 1985, with various Disney characters behind him as his band.
  • KITT appeared in an AT&T television commercial with other robotic entertainment stars as Robby the Robot, WOPR, and Rosie the Robot Maid.
  • KITT's scanner is similar to that of the Cylons from the science fiction series Battlestar Galactica. Glen A. Larson, the creator of both Knight Rider and Battlestar Galactica has stated that the two shows have nothing else in common and to remove any fan speculation, he stated in the Season One Knight Rider DVD audio-comments, that he simply reused the scanning light for KITT because he liked the effect. Ironically, in an episode of the original incarnation of Battlestar Galactica, the character Starbuck pilots a new type of Viper that has an A.I. installed into it named CORA, which was able to pilot the craft and verbally interact with a human pilot.
  • KITT appeared on stage and sang a duet with Nick Lachey during the one hour special, The Nick and Jessica Variety Hour.
  • KITT was reunited with David Hasselhoff in a season 1 episode of the variety show/talent show America's Got Talent, on which Hasselhoff was a judge. A performer brought a replica of KITT onto center stage as scenery during her burlesque act. The following evening, Hasselhoff incorporated the KITT replica into his musical performance of "Jump In My Car" on stage.
  • David Hasselhoff drives the only right hand drive KITT replica built in his music video "Jump in My Car", because the video was shot in Sydney, Australia, and the car came from Victoria, Australia. [2]
  • According to an appearance on MTV Cribs, Joey Fatone owns one of the actual KITT cars used on the series.
  • In the Futurama episode "The Honking", the werecar Project Satan is said to be made of the parts of the most evil cars in the world, including KITT's windshield wipers.
  • In the Simpsons episode "Milhouse Doesn't Live Here Anymore", KITT is featured in an exhibit at the Museum of Television and TV titled "Things that shouldn't talk... but do".
  • Also in the Simpsons, KITT was animated in the episode "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace"
  • On April 4th, 2007, one of the four KITT cars used in production of the television series was put up for sale for $149,995 by Johnny Verhoek of Kassabian Motors, Dublin, California. [2][3]
  • David Hasselhoff appeared in an episode of the claymation series Celebrity Deathmatch, fighting on a Baywatch style ring. After David was heavily injuried by John Tesh, KITT jumped on Tesh, crushing him. KITT's body was a Dune Buggy.
  • KITT also appeared as a cameo in the Disney movie 'Herbie: Fully Loaded'.

References

  • Knight Rider DVD series
  • The "K.I.T.T. Kit" brochure copyright 1983 Universal Studios
  • NBC movie Knight Rider 2000
  1. mentioned in "Goliath Returns" when KITT talks to Dr. Bergstrom
  2. "Jump In My Car" music video


Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at KITT. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Knight Rider, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.


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