Ford Patents Car That Repossess Itself And Drives Back To Showroom

  • Ford has been granted a patent for a system that allows a car to repossess itself if its owner fails to keep up with payments. The firm envisions the car driving itself back to the showroom – or to a scrapyard if the value of the car is low. But a security expert warns that the proposed system could instead be used to steal cars remotely.
  • The patent, which was filed in 2021 but granted only last week, describes how the system would kick in if the car owner failed to respond to messages informing them they were falling behind with payments. At that point, a series of measures would first be used to make the car unpleasant to drive, then impossible. Finally, as a last resort, the car would return itself to the showroom.
  • The system could begin by disabling features such as GPS navigation, the music system or the air conditioning, in order to create what the patent describes as a “certain level of discomfort” for the owner. If this doesn’t work, the patents suggests enabling the car to create an “incessant and unpleasant sound”, such as a chime or beep, every time the owner gets inside.
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