October 2, 2023

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Ford seeks to remotely repossess cars after missed payments in US patent | Ford

Driving on your car or truck payments? Your motor vehicle could before long be driving by itself to the pound. Ford Motor Firm has utilized for a patent that would allow a personal computer to disable a auto or ingredient of a vehicle about delinquent automobile payments and could guide to vehicles self-driving by themselves to repossession loads.

The patent application revealed final thirty day period statements to seek out a option to vehicle homeowners staying unwilling to have their automobiles repossessed by remotely disabling the motor vehicle or a component of the car if a delinquency notice is not acknowledged more than a certain time period of time.

“When an acknowledgement is not obtained within just a sensible interval of time, the initial laptop or computer could disable a functionality (radio, air-conditioner, and many others) or could spot the vehicle in a lockout affliction,” states the patent software printed in February as part of a general public evaluate of the patent system.

The patent describes a repossession procedure pc configured to communicate with the car laptop and/or smartphone of the driver and lists several optional factors of the car or truck it could be linked to, these as cruise manage, automatic window controls, seat controls, radio and GPS, door locking procedure, and air conditioning.

“Disabling such parts may result in an added stage of soreness to a driver and occupants of the motor vehicle,” said the patent software. The software is however pending approval and could be installed on any potential vehicle in Ford’s lineup with a facts link.

The application cites many doable eventualities for the repossession laptop to use, such as “configuring the audio component to emit an incessant and disagreeable audio each individual time the owner is present in the vehicle” and “placing the motor vehicle in a lockout condition”. The patent cites a motor vehicle digicam that can be made use of to establish if there’s an emergency to unlock the auto and that the laptop can be utilized to alert the law enforcement with GPS place if an owner attempts to block the repossession work.

Motor vehicle repossessions in the US have been on the rise since drops in the starting of the Covid-19 pandemic. In May 2021, the quantity of subprime debtors, folks with lower-than-regular credit rating scores, at minimum 60 times driving their vehicle payments strike a 7-12 months very low of 2.58% but experienced increased to 5.67% as of December 2022.

Between July 2020 and July 2022, new car or truck selling prices improved about 20% and utilised car or truck prices soared by about 40% throughout the very same period of time.

A spokesperson for Ford explained in an e mail: “We really don’t have any ideas to deploy this. We post patents on new inventions as a normal study course of business enterprise, but they are not always an indicator of new enterprise or product or service strategies. We have been granted 1,342 patents very last yr (additional than 3 a day), spanning a extensive selection of tips.”