Ford has recently filed a patent application that reveals a new way of repossessing cars if their owners fail to keep up with their payments. This bizarre and alarming solution involves the vehicle locking out its driver and even repossessing itself. The patent application was filed in August 2021, but it was only made public last week, first reported by The Drive.
The automaker believes this system will help solve the problem of "uncooperative" owners who resist repossession efforts. The system would use a "repossession system computer" to facilitate the process. It would begin with minor discomfort to the driver, with features such as cruise control, GPS, air conditioning, and the radio disabled. The car may also emit an "incessant and unpleasant sound" to warn the driver.
If the driver still doesn't respond, the system may lock the driver out of the car. The lockout would only take place during certain times, such as weekends, to ensure that the driver can still use the car to earn money to make payments. The car may also be limited to certain geographic areas or even certain times of the day.
If the driver is still behind on payments, the car could take drastic action. It may autonomously drive itself to a location convenient for a tow truck to tow it away, or it could drive itself to a repossession agency, lending institution, or impound lot. In some cases, the car may even drive itself to a scrapyard if its market value is lower than the cost of repossession.
While the patent application provides insight into Ford's potential plans for repossessing cars in the future, it's not clear if the automaker will actually implement this system. In any case, this news raises important questions about privacy, autonomy, and the future of car ownership. It's important for car owners to stay vigilant and stay up to date on how automakers are using technology to track and control their vehicles.