Don’t laugh too much, but there was a time I was a fan of the television show, Knight Rider. It was not so much because of the graces of David Hasselhoff, but rather because of K.I.T.T., the snarky car with the well-cultured voice that took care of all the driving and driving-related hassles.
Knight Rider has (thankfully) faded into the past, but could K.I.T.T.-like cars be in our future? Toyota has apparently developed IPS (Intelligent Parking Assist) technology that will steer your car into a spot to help make parallel parking easier. It’s not entirely autonomous – the driver is still responsible for operating the brakes and keeping an eye out that the area is clear – but it’s a start. I imagine the snarky, well-cultured voice feature will come later.
Disappointingly, it seems this technology is currently only available in Japan for the time being. A Shiny reader tells me that the IPA is availble in the UK on the top-of-the-line Primus for an extra £400. (Thanks, Gavin!) – [Star C. Foster]
Video of IPS at Fresh Creation
By Star C. Foster | February 21st, 2006