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Newly published Ford patent allows company to shut down key functions if drivers fail to pay

Future Ford technology will allow the company to remotely shut down features or lock vehicles where the owner has not paid for the vehicle.

Filed in August 2021, the patent was published on February 23, 2023 as part of the filing process. The car seizure system computer has not yet received final approval for patent protection.

The patent provides examples that suggest how the technology might work if implemented. Any vehicle that can connect to Wi-Fi may be able to use a recovery computer.

The financial institution can notify the owner of a delinquent payment and, if there is no response, use its computer to notify the vehicle’s computer, disabling the vehicle or locking out the driver entirely. increase.

A carve-out of the lockdown protocol will also be implemented to allow temporary use of vehicles in emergencies.

The remand computer can also be configured to connect to law enforcement and medical facilities, and can even disable part of the vehicle or shut down the vehicle.

Affected functions in cars with on-board computers perform the full range. In this patent, Ford classifies vehicle functions based on the functions required to drive the vehicle. Engines, brakes, accelerators, doors, headlights, taillights, and other parts are indispensable to automobiles.

Optional components that can be disabled initially include air conditioning, radio and GPS, music players, automatic window and seat control, and automatic door locking and unlocking systems.

Another tactic lenders can take to annoy late-paying drivers is constant loud beeping. This is something the driver cannot turn off (as opposed to seatbelt his alarm, for example).

For self-driving cars, the car can also be remotely controlled to move to another location. This includes collection agency facilities and third-party locations that are more accessible to traditional tow trucks. Self-driving cars that are not worth salvaging can be self-driving to a junkyard.

Car owners are behind on payments for many reasons, ford It said the situation could get worse as lenders move from potentially ignored notices to more escalating procedures.

“Following additional warnings, the lender can reclaim the vehicle. Typically, the owner is uncooperative at this time and may attempt to sabotage the repossession operation. could lead,” Ford wrote in the patent.

ford He said there are no plans to actually install this technology in cars in the near future.

we We routinely file patents on new inventions, but do not necessarily represent new business or product plans. ” ford spokesperson Wes Sherwood told Bloomberg.

Consumer advocates, meanwhile, are wary.

“As a manufacturer, it seems like you’re opening a can of worms that you don’t really need to do,” John Van Alst, a senior attorney at the National Center for Consumer Law, told Bloomberg.

Van Alst adds that the 1964 Stanley Kubrick film “Dr. Strangelove” is a giant bomb that automatically detonates as soon as it senses an approaching missile. Newly published Ford patent allows company to shut down key functions if drivers fail to pay

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