Ford has a novel idea for self-driving tech, with plans to use the it to automatically repossess cars from owners that default on their payments.
Ford originally filed for a patent in 2021 describing a system that would enable a vehicle to repossess itself. The patent, which was just rewarded last week, would allow a lender to ramp up repossession efforts, from sending notifications to limiting the vehicle’s movements to a specific geofenced area.
In the final state of the process, when the repossession involves an autonomous vehicle, the vehicle’s computers can drive the vehicle back to the lender or repo agency.
In some other cases, the vehicle can be an autonomous vehicle and the repossession system computer may cooperate with the vehicle computer to autonomously move the vehicle from the premises of the owner to a location such as, for example, the premises of the repossession agency, the premises of the lending institution, an impound pound, or any other pre-designated location. The address of such locations may be previously stored in a database of the repossession system computer.
Ford’s approach is certainly an interesting use of self-driving tech, and one that will probably make more than a few customers uncomfortable.