Ford Patents System for Self-Repossessing Vehicles

  • Ford has filed a patent with the USPTO for methods and procedures that help in motor vehicle repossession, as very first claimed by The Push.
  • One particular of the methods explained in the patent permits an autonomous auto to repossess itself.
  • Other techniques recommend restricting car or truck features (A/C, power home windows, electrical power seats, etc.) and even locking delinquent proprietors out of their cars.

Keeping away from the repo man could get a ton more difficult in the long term, exclusively if cars can just one day repossess them selves. With autonomous driving tech probable turning out to be extra prevalent in the coming many years, all it would get is an automaker to introduce a method the place that new car, truck, or SUV parked in your driveway can push itself away if you really don’t pay out.

So significantly, none have. Nonetheless, Ford could engage in spoiler primarily based on a filling with the United States Patent and Trademark Business office (USPTO) that aspects a self-repossessing process together with other repo-connected repercussions. Ford 1st filed the patent with the USPTO again in 2021, but it was not formally published until finally previous Thursday—a discovery initially manufactured by The Push.

Dude, Where’s My Ford?

As we previously mentioned, the most startling information described in the submitting regard autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles that can repossess them selves. For motor vehicles geared up with the latter, they may well just go by themselves a quick distance to a area exactly where they can be a lot more conveniently towed. For autos with a lot more advanced autonomous tech, they could drive by themselves to the lending corporation or the repo lot. In conditions where by Ford’s repo system corresponds with the lender and decides the vehicle’s market place price isn’t really worth the cost of the repossession, it could push by itself straight to the junkyard. Yikes.

Some of Ford’s other repo-connected repercussions never go pretty as far as producing people observe their unmanned F-150 Lightning drive right to the crusher at Uncle Tony’s Salvage. They also act as early warnings and workarounds for individuals who personal motor vehicles without having autonomous engineering or in instances in which a car or truck is parked in a garage or in any other case unable to travel itself absent or be accessed by a tow truck.

They can be as basic, albeit infuriating, as disabling particular vehicle features. At initially, benefit options these kinds of as the the air-conditioning, cruise control, electrical power seats, power windows, or the the radio may possibly be deactivated. A further technique is explained as actively playing irritating and incessant seems via the stereo system. We straight away believed of Jim Carrey’s “most bothersome sound in the globe” scene from Dumb and Dumber. Right after that, they could escalate to limiting capabilities to accessibility or push the automobile. Primarily, Ford’s repo technique could immobilize the automobile, truck, or SUV and even lock the owner out.

Preventing the Comprehensive Repo

It is truly worth noting the filing thoroughly particulars steps that would be taken right before an automatic repossession takes place. For illustration, a sequence of messages would be sent involving the loan provider and the proprietor with earlier-due payments, who would then have an allotted total of time to answer appropriately. The filing also features language acknowledging events this kind of as staying hospitalized or staying out of the state. It is stated that individuals with economic hardships may well be capable to function out a payment program with their loan provider to steer clear of repo-connected penalties.

For now, all Ford’s patent filing confirms is that the company is at the very least kicking all over the strategy of self-repossessing motor vehicles. Although it sounds plausible the much more autonomous driving tech becomes greater built-in and extra popular, we might sooner anticipate to see vehicles be remotely repossessed by obtaining options disabled or through immobilization. Then yet again, it’s tough to forecast the foreseeable future.

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Eric Stafford’s auto addiction started just before he could walk, and it has fueled his enthusiasm to produce information, testimonials, and extra for Car and Driver considering the fact that 2016. His aspiration expanding up was to develop into a millionaire with a Jay Leno–like auto selection. Apparently, finding abundant is more durable than social-media influencers make it look, so he prevented economical accomplishment solely to grow to be an automotive journalist and drive new vehicles for a residing. Just after earning a diploma at Central Michigan University and doing the job at a each day newspaper, the several years of fundamentally burning income on failed challenge cars and trucks and lemon-flavored jalopies ultimately compensated off when Auto and Driver hired him. His garage presently consists of a 2010 Acura RDX, a guide ’97 Chevy Camaro Z/28, and a ’90 Honda CRX Si.