Saturday, June 15, 2024

Ford Wants to Lock Out Drivers Who Are Late on Payments

Fully autonomous vehicles could drive directly to the repossession agency, impound lot or a junkyard...

(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Ford Motor Company recently published a patent for technology that would automatically lock drivers out of their cars if they miss a payment.

According to the Post Millennial, the patent also included technology that would enable the vehicle to sense if someone attempted to dodge a repossession.

If the vehicle owner constantly ignored notices of missed payments, the computer’s repossession computer would start disabling vehicle functions.

The patent describes the “repossession system computer,” which, in the event of a missed payment, would disable air conditioning and radio, make an “incessant and unpleasant sound… every time the owner is present in their vehicle.”

The patent also mentions complete “lockout condition,” not allowing the owner to drive the vehicle except in specific cases.

Drivers with vehicles in lockout mode would be permitted to drive to work; however, thanks to geofencing technology, their distance and location would be limited.

Repossessors can also use the computer to connect to the car’s mounted cameras, allowing officials to know if there is an attempt “to foil a repossession operation of the vehicle.”

More advanced vehicles can even be instructed to move themselves to different locations, allowing tow trucks easier access to the vehicle. Fully autonomous vehicles could drive directly to the repossession agency, impound lot or a junkyard.

If the technology is implemented, the repossession system computer would be connected to a network of other computers belonging to the police, a repossession agency, a medical facility, the owner’s lending institution and the driver’s phone.

If the owner attempts to block repossession efforts, the vehicle’s computer would have the ability to “transmit a complaint to the computer associated with the police authority.”

Ford submitted the patent, titled “Systems and Methods to Repossess a Vehicle” in August 2021, but it was not published until February 2023.

The company’s need to enforce its repayment plans  more strictly may relate, in part, to the financial struggles it has faced with its transition to electric vehicles.

In July 2022, Ford announced its plan to lay off some 8,000 workers in order to help free up $3 billion in costs for converting its factories to produce electric vehicles. It also planned to apply for $134 million in government subsidies.

But last month Ford announced it was halting its line of electric F-150 Lightnings due to battery failure.

Ford is not the only American automotive company to wage a war on its traditional consumers.

Stellantis’s Dodge line, Chevrolet and Harley–Davidson, all former symbols of American machismo and rugged independence, are among those that have faced recent criticism for going woke with electric vehicles and other forms of left-wing virtue-signaling.

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