Are you one that misses your payment on your car? Well worry no more for the lenders... Ford last week just submitted a patent application for a self-driving vehicles that would repossesses itself and/or locks drivers out of features If a payment is missed.
Guess Emilio Estevez will be out of a job! So much for Repoman!
This info has only been floating around for about a week now and rumors stated that this patent was filed over two years ago back in 2021. But was only published last week on Feb 23, 2023 through the United States Patent and Trademark Office Pub No.: US 2023/0055958
The full version can be seen HERE.
Apparently this system would involve interactions between a computer (probably associated with a bank or lender) sending a delinquency notice to the individual like the purchaser or the lessee to the on-board vehicle computer or smart phone owed by the individual. The individual would have to acknowledge the notice within a reasonable amount of time or else the first computer will tell the component of the vehicle to disable functionality or just lockout the individual all together. supposedly in case of an emergency the lockout could be lifted to allow travel for example to a medical facility.
Rumors state that any lack of action to "pay up" could result in the vehicle calling for a tow truck
or even the autonomous vehicles moving itself to a location where the car can be repossessed without the interaction from the delinquent individual. If the individual tries to interfere with the "repossession" the vehicle could possibly call the police.
Though some of those methods might seem far fetched and the infrastructure for that may be years, but other theoretical rumors would be fact and the system could deactivate the air conditioning, disable your key fob or even make a chime or loud noise like when your seat belt is not worn.
We know even with some GM cars today, a car will automatically go in park if the door is open, so this technology is not something impossible to do.
Why the self repossession? More and more consumers have been defaulting on their auto loans due to the pandemic, inflation of everything and most of all a higher annual percentage rate on new financed vehicles! The days of 1.5% or 0% financing is extinct in 2023 and the average rate mid last year was about 5.7% and at the end 2022 increased to 6.5% increasing may loans as much as $1000+ month payments according to Edmunds.
According to Cox Automotive, automotive loans are at an all time high increasing at 26.7 percent year over year as of December 2022.
Our thoughts on this... We are not too keen on cars doing things we don't want it to do. How about that self avoidance steering or braking? Hell we turn that off when we drive our cars. We also feel that other automotive manufactures will follow suit and patten their own version of this. But then again you probably don't have to worry about this type of "repossession" if you don't default on your loan. Out advise is, don't buy a car you cannot afford. You know what you are getting yourself into when you sign those papers. If you don't know ask... It's simple math.