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The 1980s Futuristic Dream Car is now a Reality

What do KITT from Knight Rider, the Batmobile and Doc Brown's Delorean from Back to the Future all have in common? All three ignited our imaginations about what is truly possible within the automotive realm. But, when those cars first entered pop culture, their features were truly just that – pure fiction. That is until companies like HARMAN developed breakthrough technologies in the connected car space, and helped usher in a new era of truly connected driving. Voice control, haptic interfaces, and so much more seemed only possible in the movies, but now, HARMAN has made it a reality.

With national Name Your Car Day this week, we wanted to take a closer look at a few futuristic in-car features that have gone from the realm of science fiction, to reality.

 KITT: The Brainy Car

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KITT from Knight Rider was everything you could ever dream of in a car: voice projection, computer AI, voice control, and more. Viewers of the iconic 80s TV series will remember the "brain" in KITT that enabled the car to think, learn, communicate, and interact with humans. The AI-enabled automated car capabilities were pure science fiction when the show debuted in the 1980s, but it is now possible with HARMAN's cutting-edge solutions. HARMAN Ignite 3.0 offers drivers a connected and personal experience with various smart features like an ecosystem marketplace that allow drivers to download apps and an intelligent reasoning agent (iRA). Similar to the AI capabilities in KITT, HARMAN's voice-enabled personal assistant, iRA, is laser-focused on serving the driver’s needs. It has the skills to support in-vehicle or home features like remote start, help drivers make Amazon purchases with a simple command, and unlocks incredible benefits like increased safety, convenience, and entertainment needs for drivers.

The Crime Fighting Batmobile

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Another futuristic vehicle that pop culture introduced to the world is the Batmobile. From speed boosts to ejection seats and jet exhausts, the iconic Batmobile helped Batman in his fight against crime. While the iconic bat motif exterior may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the two-seated high tech interior with aircraft-like instrumentation is very desirable for almost any driver. HARMAN brought this once-unrealistic technology found in the Batmobile to life, through the digital cockpit and advanced display solutions. HARMAN's practical and attractive cockpit solutions are capable of integrating the vehicle with the driver's digital lifestyle. Each platform is designed to enable full connectivity and personalization. Combined with bigger displays and smarter surfaces for car-to-human interaction powered by HARMAN and Samsung's automotive-grade QLED technologies, these digital cockpit solutions are truly one of a kind – even if evocative of something as futuristic as the Batmobile.

Time Travel in Style with the Delorean

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If a vehicle like Doc Brown’s Delorean existed, would you want to use it to time travel? The powerful time-machine enabled Doc Brown and Marty to travel through 100+ years of history throughout the Back to the Future series. But the Delorean had a small flaw. In the second film of Back to the Future, display issues with the Delorean were what sent Doc Brown and Marty back to 1885 instead of 1985. HARMAN and Samsung created a solution that guarantees display issues to be a thing of the past if incorporated into the Delorean. In a partnership with Samsung, the leader in QLED display manufacturing, the two companies produced a unique, automotive-grade QLED solution for vehicles. Together, the team leveraged technologies typically found in other industries like television and personal computing, and brought them to the cockpit. The result? A one of a kind, unique visual cockpit experience that consumers would typically get in their consumer electronics equipment or in their homes. With HARMAN's technologies, drivers won't need to worry about being accidentally sent back to another era in time – or get a poor in-car display experience at the very least.

Whether you want an intelligent in-vehicle virtual assistant, or an immersive cockpit experience, HARMAN continues to drive the future of in-car experiences, bringing futuristic technologies that once only existed in the realm of imagination, firmly to life.