Adding a smart AI voice command system to future Tesla cars seems like the next logical step.
It came as no surprise when Elon Musk announced he was developing artificial intelligence technology for Tesla cars, but he hasn't shared details about how it could be implemented. However, a Twitter exchange may have given us an idea of what to expect. When a fan asked Musk about the use of "K.I.T.T. like AI" in Tesla Cars referring the AI assistant in the 1982 Pontiac Trans Am from Knight Rider, the CEO simply responded "Yes," revealing that the automaker is working on the technology. Musk has previously said he wants to add an AI assistant in Tesla models, in the form of an advanced voice control system. According to Musk, this new system will allow drivers to do "pretty much anything via voice command".
Adding an advanced voice command system would certainly make sense since the interiors of Teslas are mostly devoid of physical buttons. Ironically, KITT's science fiction technology that featured in Knight Rider no longer seems futuristic in 2018, as automakers such as Mercedes are starting to implement intelligent AI systems that support natural language commands as part of its MBUX infotainment system. Mercedes says this system allows drivers "best conversation you've ever had with a car" because it recognizes phrases used in everyday conversations. Virtually everything in the interior can be operated using your voice, from adjusting the temperature, to controlling music.
This system will eventually be offered in every Mercedes model, so it's not far-fetched to imagine Tesla implementing a similar, more advanced system to stay ahead of the competition that can seamlessly respond to commands and switch to Autopilot when necessary. As for the KITT reference, this is hardly the first time Musk has used pop culture references in Tesla cars.