The self-healing Lambo
As if cars weren't advanced enough - MIT takes it to a whole new level with their Lamborghini that can repair itself. No kidding.
Fashion and Cars are closely related. Can you Imagine a super sharply dressed James Bond in a 4000$ suit by Tom Ford jumping into a Fiat Cinquecento? Perhaps not. Not only do cars serve for functional purposes, many people even see their cars as some kind of XXL fashion accessoires.
We have discovered that the development for future cars resembles a similarity, strategically, to that of future fashion – they both have to become smarter. Of course, the materials used are a little different, swapping denim for the use of carbon. Let us go back to James Bond. Besides his confidently stylish suits, he drives a well-matched Aston Martin which comes with rather futuristic “extras”. We’ve seen this charming, British secret service man transform his road-star into a submarine, a helicopter and even a spaceship – while firing missiles, being bulletproof and even in the 60’s, having a fully functional autopilot that Elon Musk can nowadays only dream of.
Loaded with less explosives but the same amount of creativity, and keen eyes for the future perspective of cars, a group of researchers from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, has designed some eye-candy of a Lamborghini that is not only fast as hell, but also super smart. How can a car be smart, one might ask? Knight Rider’s infamous 1982 Pontiac Trans Am “KITT” brought A.I. to the next level by being able to communicate like a human, and a witty one too! Since Joseph Weizenbaum’s talking machine, ELIZA, linguists have struggled to program Chatbots that can talk to us like real human beings. Just look at Apple, with its forever disappointing Siri, one can see, we’re still far away from KITT.
KITT has another nice feature, called “Molecular Bonded Shell”, it basically means: North Korea can shoot at KITT with a nuclear weapon and it still won’t leave a scratch on his varnish. MIT’s Lamborghini project might not intend to produce another tank (why should that require any intelligence), but the smart part of it: it has an automatic self-healing feature. With the technology of so called “carbon nanotubes”, the integrated computer of the car can detect little cuts and other damages, which prompts the car to “self-heal”. For more crucial and larger damages, it will send a report to its technician.
Self-healing machines? Still a bit creepy. Just think of T-1000 from Terminator 2. Let’s hope smart cars learn just the good stuff that we teach them. If not the next KITT might not be so friendly.