Playing hide-and-seek with banks and repo guys will be moot and unnecessary once Ford can completely invent and implement a patent recently filed in the U.S. called ‘Systems and Methods to Repossess a Vehicle.’
The patent name is innocuous enough. It actually sounds like a new, yet simple, new process involving banks and the repo man. Fortunately for the former and the latter, and quite unfortunate for delinquent owners, it is a lot more complicated than that and involves the invention of a Repossession System Computer that uses several components, including sensors, processors, a communication system, and a bunch of modules.
Yes, Fords, in the future, will mind its business and remind you to pay your monthly amortizations should you stop payments for one reason or another. Don’t worry. The vehicle will not simply drive off and abandon you after you have missed your first month. The American automaker has programmed the system to be lenient.
If owners ignore multiple notices and messages, the system will initiate a series of actions under the ‘multi-step repossession procedure,’ which aims to irritate and infuriate the owner to comply.
The computer will begin by shutting down first-level features like radio, GPS navigation, and the climate control system. If that does not prompt owners to pay, the infotainment system will emit “an incessant and unpleasant sound every time the owner is present in the vehicle.”
The vehicle goes into ‘lockout’ mode if the owner still takes no action. It will only allow the owner to drive within a specific geo-locked radius (office or to pick up children at school) or only during weekdays.
The last resort is the vehicle either driving itself to a spot that will make it accessible to repo men (or women), a tow truck, or taking itself to the dealership.
For humanitarian reasons, like the owner needing to drive to the hospital, the dealership can still override it in an emergency. Ford will also make the system capable of checking its market value online versus repossession costs and decide whether it should go there or to the junkyard.
This technology may still be far ahead, but this is a warning to potential Ford owners. Your vehicle will repossess itself if you stop payments.