In an effort to convince individuals to make up late auto payments, Ford Motor Co. has filed a patent application for a system that, if all else fails, might result in vehicles driving themselves to repossession lots.
Ford Global Technologies submitted a patent application to the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office on August 20, 2021, and it was publicly published for public comment on February 23 as part of the formal procedure.
In the patent application, new “systems and methods to reclaim a vehicle” are described. Anthony Maraldo, Brendan Diamond, Keith Weston, and Michael Alan Mcnees—all Ford engineers—are listed as the inventors.
The car might drive itself off private property to be picked up by a tow truck or take it to a junkyard if the value is too low based on mileage and other criteria, as described in the patent application.
The patent application describes several methods for resolving nonpayment. They consist of:
sending reminders and alerts to the owner’s phone or dashboard display from banks or lending organisations.
In a few days or weeks, the plan can change to include “unpleasant” audio to compel the owner to speak with the lender about making payment arrangements.
Next, in order to “create discomfort,” the car may disable amenities like window or seat controls, GPS, or radio dials, according to the patent.
In-depth instructions on how to use the design and embedded software are included in the patent application’s pages, which also state that it is “preferable not to initiate an unwanted encounter.”
Will it be used or not?
The patent also describes strategies for helping late-paying owners maintain their cars, like geofencing the range of the car or locking it solely on weekends so that the driver can still get to work.
“The first thing to know is that this technology might possibly function on your car if it is in any way connected to the internet. The application also describes a “repossession computer” that could be added to future cars to make this system operate more efficiently, but it also states that no additional hardware is required to be installed on the car in order for it to work “The news was first reported on Monday by thedrive.com. Basically, this could definitely work without physical adjustments if your car has an infotainment system that is already configured to receive anything like over-the-air updates.
Vehicle repossessions are increasing nationwide
According to Sherwood, the new system has not yet been included into any of the company’s present goods, and it is not possible for the business to speak about its future ambitions.
Mel Farr, a former running back for the Detroit Lions who retired in 1974, bought his first Ford dealership in 1975, and later built an automobile empire, made news for employing a device to deactivate the vehicles he leased out when clients didn’t make payments on time. In exchange for $200 in coupons for dealership auto services, lawyers for 1,550 clients agreed to dismiss a class action lawsuit against Mel Farr Automotive Group about the engine-disabling device, according to a Free Press article from 2000.
With hefty interest rates, Farr was ready to work with clients who had poor credit, but several clients claimed their automobiles would suddenly stop working while they were on the road. In 2015, he passed away at the age of 70.