A newer, better KITT

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A newer, better KITT

Post by Knight Industries 3000 » Sat Jun 28, 2003 4:22 pm

I just found this board while Google-searching for a Knight Rider BBS. I've been a Knight Rider fan ever since I saw Michael Long get shot in the face back in '82, at the ripe old age of six.

I've recently thought it would be fun to imagine what a more modern KITT might look like. Although to this day KITT from the TV show doesn't look dated to me, real-world technology has advanced considerably in the last 21 years. For a variety of reasons, I've never liked the Knight 4000 from the Knight Rider 2000 TV movie. The biggest reason is that it was red rather than black, and in the TV show, KITT never seemed fond of being any other color than black. Then again, maybe ten years of being unceremoniously deactivated and dismantled made him glad to be any color at all.

Anyway, what do you think a "KITT of today" might look like? knightdriver, I saw your Knight Rider 2002 concept illustrations, and I think they're very impressive.

I've made some simple chicken-scratch sketches of my concept for a new KITT. As with knightdriver's idea, it's also based on a more modern Trans Am. I've also toyed with some early ideas for an updated interior, particularly the voice box area, since that the "drive mode" lights never made much sense, especially after the introduction of Super Pursuit Mode. Why did "NORMAL" and "AUTO" pilot have separate lights for Cruise Mode, but not for Pursuit Mode? Why wasn't a "Super Pursuit Mode" light added? What did S1, P1, and all that jazz mean?

Incidentally I chose the screen name "Knight Industries 3000" because I imagine a "new KITT" having that designation. "KITT" sounds better than "KIFT" anyway! :lol:

What are some of your thoughts on a "new KITT"?

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Post by knightdriver » Sat Jun 28, 2003 4:46 pm

Thanks for the complaiment on the pic's. I hade more ready to go but my computer crashed recently and I lost everything that I did that wasn't uploaded. I'm pissed too because I had some cool dash shots I did up.

and for the record. The car in Knight Rider 2000 was never called KIFT. It was refered to as the Knight 4000. KIFT is what the fans started calling it due to KITT's initital spelling was due to the name being cut down for short. I don't think the studios planned on the fans calling it KIFT.

Who knows what the new car will be. Being 2 years in the works now, you think they would have something to show us. I seriously doubt the film will get made for a next year release. First they told us a 2003 release, then 2004, whats next. It can't be that hard to write a script for one, can it?
Brian - Knightdriver.com

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Post by Knight Industries 3000 » Sat Jun 28, 2003 4:49 pm

I know "KIFT" wasn't an official alias for the Knight 4000, but one wonders if that name was going to have been used prior to Michael soldering KITT's old chips into the car. :lol:

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Post by neps » Sun Jun 29, 2003 10:34 pm

This type of double naming is too confusing. I mean so the KR2000 movie the projects name is the Knight Industries Four Thousand. Following the way KITT got it's name, any personality contained within should be called KIFT, which was what the Maddox personality's name probably was. So when the personalities were switched it was KITT in KIFTs body. I think the names for the bodies of any Knight Industries products should have separate names from the personalities contained within, much like you have different names for a prototype Hardware and Software. And keep the names from being so similar. it's just has the potential of being confusing.

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Post by Knight Industries 3000 » Sun Jun 29, 2003 11:39 pm

Back to the subject of the "newer, better KITT," earlier this evening I ran across photos of some fourth-gen Trans Ams converted to KITT-inspired cars. It was pretty cool. I once thought that the fourth-gen Trans Ams might be too "bulky" to make a decent Knight-style car, but I was pleased to see photos that proved me to be mistaken. 8)

A buddy of mine has a black, fourth-gen Trans Am T-top. When time permits, I'm going to photograph the thing inside and out to serve as a visual reference for a KITT design of my own.

One of the first changes I'd make from the "classic KITT" design concerns the placement of some of the buttons. The switch pods are a great idea for some functions, but I think that certain critical functions, like turbo boost, ski mode, normal/auto pilot, cruise/pursuit/super pursuit modes, and the emergency braking system, should be easily accessible without the driver having to remove one of his hands from the steering wheel. I think a half-dozen or so of the most critical functions should have controls on the steering wheel itself, just as "real-world" cars of today sometimes have cruise control and even radio controls on their steering wheels.

I'd also want to change the overall shape of the steering wheel. Although the classic KITT wheel looks cool -- very cool -- I can't imagine maneuvering a car at 200+ miles per hour with a non-circular steering control, collision avoidance systems notwithstanding. The classic KITT steering wheel doesn't have enough "meat" to hold on to, particularly during critical situations. The driver shouldn't have to think even for a split-second where both handles are.

Another change: seat belts. I wouldn't want to rely solely on an invisible, "passive laser restraint system" to keep my head from smashing into the indestructible console and/or windshield in the event of a collision or hard landing.

Yet another change: I would want the dashboard to include the comforts of a real car, and not just the decorations of Darth Vader's bathroom. I'd want positionable vents for the air conditioning and heating. I'd want a flip-down sun visor. I'd want a radio and CD player in an easily accessible and visible location. I'd want a rear-view window attached to the windshield. I'd want a vid phone that can be used without punching a bunch of cryptically labeled buttons on the ceiling. I'd want a usable glove compartment on the passenger side.

Don't get me wrong. I love KITT and all of his gadgets, buttons, pop-out SPM thingies and EBS flaps, disappearing T-top panels and the like. On the other hand, there's no harm in acknowledging that the car was designed on a compressed time schedule typical of a television series, and that it was designed to be an aesthetically pleasing and cool prop, not a 100% practical field vehicle. :)

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Post by KFCreator » Mon Jun 30, 2003 1:13 am

This thread reminds me of exactly how I was/am thinking when I'm designing my Knight 3000 concept, which is still being considered by Hasselhoff for use in the new movie and/or TV series. For those who are wondering, my drawings were available on my AOL FTP site (some still are I think) but I deleted a bunch of them to try to make room for video clips that I tried to post (which didn't work completely because my AOL FTP space is only about 5MB. Insanely small, I know!). If I had more FTP space somehow, I'd love to make all my designs available for everyone to view, but at this time, I'll have to find some way of getting as many of them back up on the web as I can. But getting back to the concept ideas, almost all of the ones mentioned on this thread are included in my designs (including the flip down rear-view mirror). I'm in the process of redesigning the whole KITT dashboard AGAIN because I figured if I'm going to modernize KITT's design for the new Firebirds, I might as well make it look as though it fits the style (much like Knightdriver's deisgns do). Actually, I have E-mailed Knightdriver once or twice about helping me make my deisgns look like they come to life in photos and hopefully once I finalize them, we'll be able to team up and give you guys some awesome-looking previews at what KITT may end up looking like. :-) I'll keep you guys posted!

BTW-anyone who might be willing to lend me some FTP space so that I could temporarily post my video files would be an awesome help, although I know that's asking a lot. The largest video file I have clocks in at I think about 8MB but I wouldn't ask to have them posted all at once because that'd consume about 37MB of online space. Rotating the clips on a weekly or daily basis might be a possibility but if anyone's interested, please E-mail me! Thanks!
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Post by Darknight » Mon Jun 30, 2003 7:35 pm

Knight Industries 3000, I like your thinking. There would have to be some changes in KITT to make him practical for use in reality. That aside, here's my concept for a new KITT, along with a few other things on my page:

http://www.geocities.com/corbydillon/tech.html

DK

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Post by Knight Industries 3000 » Mon Jun 30, 2003 11:25 pm

^ Very cool! I like how you modified the rear of the car. I've never liked the fourth-gen-style taillight area.

Did you make all the custom body parts yourself?

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Post by Darknight » Mon Jun 30, 2003 11:36 pm

"Did you make all the custom body parts yourself?"

I hope that means you thought the car was real. :) I sure wish it were, but it's all digital picture doctoring with MSPaint. I'm glad you like the rear. A lot of people aren't crazy about it, but I personally like it quite a bit.

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Post by KFCreator » Tue Jul 01, 2003 12:51 am

I was just getting back to the drawing board and trying to start clean using the basic 4th gen. Firebird dashboard layout as a template to design a new KITT dashboard around and I got to thinking about how I originally thought the voice module itself should be redesigned too, although definitely not like how they did with KIFT in Knight Rider 2000. So, my question is, how do you think the voice module should look if it had to be redesigned from scratch. I got an interesting idea of taking one of the 3 LED displays used in the original voice displays, turning it sideways, enlarging it a bit, and using that as a new voice module display. It sounds pretty funky at first glance I'm sure, but once I slapped together a simple 8-frame animation on my iMac to see what it'd basically look like operating, it's really not half bad. I figure why not do away with the control buttons on the side of the original voice box and instead, move the location of the voice box in a new KITT design up along the border of the main readout area (the area above the steering wheel in the 4th gen. Firebirds). My reasoning is that KITT's voice module is important, but if you're going to try and squeeze as many functions and displays into that dash. as possible, why does the voice module have to be at the very center, just above the steering column. My design still keeps the voice module centered, just not in it's usual spot. Anyway, if anyone else has any ideas or deisngs for a new KITT voice module, please feel free to share because I'd love to hear opinions!

Darknight--LOL I loved your RIP Oldsmobile section of your webpage, especially because my first car (and still the car that I'm driving today) is a 1984 Oldsmobile Delta 88. Unfortunately, as much as I LOVE my car, the transmission is goign and either needs major repair work or a complete overhaul--something I'm not inclined to do given that my car's value is probably not more than $1000 at best. :-( Hopefully though, it'll find new life in someone else's hands if I can sell it.
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Post by Darknight » Tue Jul 01, 2003 1:00 am

Thanks Adam, I appreciate your appreciation for Oldsmobiles, heh. They're super tough, dependable cars. Oh well...I'm keeping mine for a future rebuild, complete with supercharger, hopefully. :twisted: Mwwwwwhahahahahah!

DK

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Post by neps » Tue Jul 01, 2003 7:34 am

I'm not sure what the right look for a new voice module would be. All I know is that when they switched it for Knight Rider 2000, or showed it in TKR, it was completely different and I didn't like it as much. I felt like I wasn't looking at KITTs true self, so anything else seems wrong.

As for position of the modulator, I would think it would be at the steering column so that the driver doesn't have to divert his eyes far away in order to see the box. But taking in KITTs ability to see potential dangers ahead (and Hasselhoffs looking at the center of the console alot) I guess it doesn't really matte where it is.

Although having him in at the left kinda makes it more intimate and close, while having him in the center, kind of seems like he's pushed aside.

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Post by Knight Industries 3000 » Tue Jul 01, 2003 7:46 am

neps wrote:I'm not sure what the right look for a new voice module would be. All I know is that when they switched it for Knight Rider 2000, or showed it in TKR, it was completely different and I didn't like it as much. I felt like I wasn't looking at KITTs true self, so anything else seems wrong.


I agree. KITT's voice modulator is the closest thing that KITT has to a "face."

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Post by Knight Industries 3000 » Tue Jul 01, 2003 7:52 am

Darknight wrote:I hope that means you thought the car was real. :) I sure wish it were, but it's all digital picture doctoring with MSPaint.


It's very well done!

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Post by Darknight » Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:24 pm

Thanks
:D

DK

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Post by Michael Pajaro » Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:37 pm

I like the idea of keeping KITT's 3-column voice modulator right where it is, but if they wanted to update it for the movie they could also have it projected as part of a heads-up display on the windshield. (along with other readouts.) This way, we can get the new without losing the old.

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Post by CK » Tue Jul 01, 2003 5:43 pm

Kinda like they had in KR2000 Mike? I liked that VR display on the windshield. Yep I can imagine it.

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Post by Michael Pajaro » Tue Jul 01, 2003 5:49 pm

The VR display was a cool idea that wasn't used very well in KR2000. But yes, I like the idea of using some of those same concepts in the movie.

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Post by aussieknight » Tue Jul 01, 2003 6:39 pm

I have a stereo 7 band spectrum analyzer that I ripped out of a stereo system that runs off 12 volts. I hook it us to my speaker outputs on my home stereo, and provided the volume's not too high, it looks great! I have thought that perhaps a 3 band one, turned on its side & mirrored might look OK. That way KITTs lower voice frequencies would light up the bottom set of bars, and the higher ones would show on the appropriate bars above it. The original display just worked off volume levels, and this does that as well as frequency. I'd show a possible picture if Neil would let me store it on the KRO board site. Neps ol' buddy? You there? :dash:
"What do you mean, 'get'? You ARE in big trouble." -KITT, Not a Drop to Drink.

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Post by neps » Tue Jul 01, 2003 10:24 pm

Yea, I thought about the projection on the screen, but then I felt that it wasn't permanent enough, there would need to be an actual location where you could always look, in addition to that location. And also, would it be a distraction for the driver? Again, I guess its not really a problem with a car like KITT.

And email me the image, we'll see what we can do.

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