Ford Files Patent For Self-Repossessing Vehicles That Drive Themselves Away If You Skip Your Payments
The prices for new vehicles have been steadily on the rise. These increased MSRPs can lead to higher monthly payments, which in some cases, lead to the vehicle being repossessed by the bank. With some customers unable to meet raised monthly payments, Ford’s latest patent could make the repossession process go a lot smoother by cutting the tow truck driver out of the equation.
A patent filed by Ford to the United States Patent Office details a list of ways for the automaker to reclaim a vehicle from customers not making the payments, which includes an automated system that tells the vehicle to drive itself back to the dealership.
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Titled “Systems and Methods to Repossess a Vehicle”, the proposed system would be installed on any future vehicle that includes a data connection that would disable the “functionality of one or more components of the vehicle,” which would include everything from the engine, the air conditioning, fuel system, and more.
With vehicles equipped with a self-driving feature, or semi-self-driving feature, this system would “move the vehicle from a first spot to a second spot that is more convenient for a tow truck to tow the vehicle… move them from the premises of the owner to a location such as, for example, the premises of the repossession agency.” Or in the event that the lender decides simply repossessing the vehicle is not financially worth it, it could simply tell the vehicle to drive itself to a junkyard.
While no technology of the sort has been developed on Ford’s end, the patent could be merely to protect the idea of a self-repossessing vehicle. Regardless if this will become a reality or not, it does fuel the incentive to keep up with those payments after all.