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16
6 Mar, 2023
2 min time to read

It potentially changing the way lending institutions approach vehicle repossession.

Ford has applied for a patent to make the repossession process of a vehicle go smoother by enabling cars to self-repossess or drive themselves to a junkyard if they have missed several payments. The patent titled "Systems and Methods to Repossess a Vehicle" describes several ways to disable the functionality of one or more components of the vehicle, including the engine, air conditioning, and automated window controls.

If the lending institution considers the financial viability of executing a repossession procedure to be unjustifiable, the vehicle could drive itself to the junkyard. The system could be installed on any future vehicle in Ford's lineup with a data connection, and it does not necessarily represent Ford's intent to introduce the described feature, process, or technology to its vehicles.

If it will cost the bank more to repo the vehicle as compared to what it can recoup by selling the vehicle, the patent application states that "the repossession system computer may be configured to cause the vehicle to drive itself to a designated location, such as for example, a junkyard." The document notes that the vehicle's owner could be given notice before the vehicle is driven away, but it also says that "in some cases, the vehicle may be prevented from notifying the owner of the impending removal to, for example, prevent the owner from removing items from the vehicle before the vehicle is taken."

While the idea of a self-repossessing car might seem like something out of a science fiction movie, the reality is that it could potentially make the repossession process more efficient for lending institutions. However, it remains to be seen whether Ford will actually implement this system in its future vehicles or if the patent application is simply a way to protect the idea. Regardless, it's clear that technology is continuing to change the way we interact with our vehicles in ways that we never thought possible.