Perhaps the easiest way to understand the interface between humans and cars is to watch Knight Rider. In this famous television series from the 1980s, the main character – played by David Hasselhoff – talks with his car KITT like he would with his best mate. KITT chats back, responding in superbly human form to its owner’s troubles, and finds every destination on automatic pilot. Not only that, it has a cash machine on board that spits out dollars.
How does this stand up to a reality check? Around 30 years later, a good many of these special effects are ready for series production. Voice control and various driver assistance systems are standard features in the latest generations of cars.