I am confused by the nature of the basic physics that occured while watching the MythBusters Knightrider Ramp Experiment. To summarize the experiment, they wanted to see if a car could safely drive up a moving ramp (attached to a semi truck) as performed in the hit 1980's television show. (I didn't think they could fake that stunt in 1980, so I assumed it was possible).
The most common misconception is that the car will experience the "conveyer belt effect", which can be seen when a person speeds up while walking on a moving conveyer, the person's walking speed is added to the speed of the conveyer belt. In this case, there is concern that the speed of the car will be added to the speed of the semi-truck and the car will catapult to the front of the semi-truck trailer. The main problem is that this would invariably damage the whoosh whoosh lights in the front, rendering the vehicle virtually useless, leaving countless poor and usually goodhearted people to be preyed upon by evil chemical treatment plants and ruthless land developers.
However, lucky for KITT, the slow motion cameras show that the wheels on the vehicle slow down almost instantaneously, slowing dow the car and allowing safe entry into the back of the semi-truck. I suppose I could buy that KITT's advanced circuiry allows him to calculate the needed braking in order bring the car to a safe stop, but let's assume that this is not the case. I am confused how and why the tires slow down so dramatically, without some sort of serious new frictional coefficient. What is the basic algebra of this equation? What forces the tires to slow? Please elaborate more beyond was mentioned in the video clip. They mention intertia, but it is not clear which objects are in reference to the others.
Let's take this one step further: what would happen if an actual conveyer belt were attached to the ramp and was moving forward while the car drove up it?