Bad news for Jude Law in that one movie, Anthony Head in that other movie (if you can even call it that) and the entire cast of truTV’s bygone reality series Operation Repo: It seems robots are officially coming to repossess the job of repossessions.
Over the past few years it seems Ford has taken a break from its busy schedule of making faulty airbags and pretending its founder wasn’t a raging anti-semite to tackle a new task in the world of automaking — cutting out the middleman and designing a self-repossessing vehicle.
You better not miss a car payment:— CarDealershipGuy (@GuyDealership) March 2, 2023
Ford has filed a patent that would allow self-driving cars to drive away from owners who can’t keep up with their payments
While the patent is not yet approved, the future is most definitely going to be wild.
Late last month, the U.S. Patent Office published the carmaker’s patent document outlining their vision of a repo man-free world. Entitled "Systems and Methods to Repossess a Vehicle,” the document is WAY more dystopian than its (probably) focus group-ed title implies, detailing the increasingly bleak ways their “repossession system computer” could “disable a functionality of a component of the vehicle or may place the vehicle in a lockout condition.”
New Ford patent that will remotely turn off your air conditioner, other non essential car features or even the car itself, if you miss a car payment. The control of this feature will be in the hands of the financing company and perhaps others.— Brian Roemmele (@BrianRoemmele) March 3, 2023
“SYSTEMS https://t.co/TOLsE47MLw… https://t.co/Ac2ppYmZCQ pic.twitter.com/gWOVrykNzf
First up? Minor inconveniences. In the early stages of delinquency, this theoretical vehicle would play through a number of Black Mirror-esque annoyances — playing irritating sounds, only functioning amid medical emergencies and limiting its functionality to weekdays or within a determined “geofence.”
In the most extreme scenarios, the car would do what we all wish we could sometimes — simply leave, driving itself to locations including police stations and lending agencies for easier towing — or possibly a junkyard if the vehicle fails to hit a “pre-determined threshold price.”
Fortunately for us — and the cars not wanting to off themselves — this patent has yet to be approved. Now if you’ll excuse us, we’ll be driving ourselves to the junkyard for a taste of that sweet, sweet goodnight.