Ford Motor Company filed a US patent application that shows autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles could potentially repossess themselves if their owners miss lease or loan payments.
The idea of self-driving cars repossessing themselves might sound dystopian, but it is not surprising that automakers are considering this technology to ensure payment. Repossession is a common practice, and as we’ve described recently, cracks are beginning to form in the subprime auto loan market (read: here & here).
While this patent application was first filed in Aug. 2021 and formally published on Feb. 23, it could be years before Ford implements such a technology.
The patent, titled “Systems and Methods to Repossess a Vehicle,”explains how a future lineup of Ford vehicles would be capable of “[disabling] a functionality of one or more components of the vehicle.”
If a driver misses a car payment, the vehicle will disable air conditioning, radio, GPS, and cruise control to irritate the driver.