It's a dang shame that the Pontiac Firebird used in the 1980s TV show "Knight Rider" wasn't electric. Otherwise, that creepy voice would've had a lot more to tell the Hasslehoff.

Plug-in vehicle makers like Nissan, Ford and Tesla are equipping their car with top-of-the-line data-collection technology in addition to their advanced electric-drive powertrain systems, the BBC reports. Vehicle makers are using sensors, wireless connections and GPS systems to track everything from charging patterns to driving habits and trip information to air-conditioning and heating use. As Ford's Mike Tinskey told the BBC, "We actually have data now. We know our customer better than we've ever known them before because of these telematics."

Automakers are using the data to better track and share how drivers use the relatively nascent plug-in technology. For instance, Ford says its plug-in drivers typically take four trips a day (three of them all-electric) with the average distance at about 13 miles. Nissan Leaf drivers travel about 35 miles a day. And Tesla has used its data as a "gotcha," disputing claims from a reporter from The New York Times earlier this year after he said he ran out of electric juice in his Model S and had to get the car towed.

So, you can't lie about your driving habits to the folks who made the car, but you can read more details over on the BBC.


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