Ford patent filing could prove scary for future vehicle owners

If a Ford car owner defaults on loan payment, the embedded system will play havoc with even air conditioning or the engine’s functions.

Automobile giant Ford Motor Corp has filed for a unique patent. The hitherto unheard-of patent filing is aimed to make the repossession process smooth for banks who lend.

Ford’s move comes even though automobile loan delinquency rates, or the percentage of loans that are due to the total number of loans, are down, indicating a healthy lending scenario. 

It may be noted that Ford had filed for the patent in the US Patent Office as early as 2021 August, though it was formally published only in February this year.

Do not miss loan repayment!

The idea is to make life a difficult proposition for those who have availed of loans but missed several payments.

As per indications in the patent filing, this system if operational could be embedded in future vehicles launched. The system, when triggered, will interfere with one or several functionalities of the vehicles. In other words, if you default on payment, the system itself can play havoc with even air conditioning or the engine’s functions.

What’s more, if the vehicle has a semi-autonomous capability to steer, it could even drive your vehicle from your garage and take it to a place where authorities could tow it to an agency authorised to repossess it.

And if the lending bank or financial institution thinks the possibility of repossessing it is also remote in some circumstances, vehicles with such capabilities could steer themselves to junk yards.

A hitherto unheard of move by Ford

Such a patent filing by an automobile company is unheard of. But experts pointed out that patent filings such as his do not necessarily mean the automobile firm intends to process such technologies and embed them on its vehicles. They say it could just be a way for Ford to protect such an idea with a patent filing.

The patent filing document does not shed much light on how such a system will work.

Ford’s thinking is based on the premise that future vehicles will anyway be connected to the internet and hence if such a system is put in place, it can theoretically intervene with the vehicle’s functionalities.

But the filing does mention the possibility of what it calls a repossession computer which may be installed in a vehicle to make this work. But it also says no extra hardware has to be fitted on the vehicle for the envisaged system to function effectively.

If the vehicle has a system which is capable of receiving updates “over the air” such a system has every probability to work without making modifications.

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