The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Ford Patents System for Self-Repossessing Vehicles - Expert comments What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
But...But...But My Wife Is Ready To Give Birth...Call Ford Credit
  • Ford has filed a patent with the USPTO for systems and methods that aid in vehicle repossession, as first reported by The Drive.
  • One of the systems described in the patent enables an autonomous vehicle to repossess itself.
  • Other methods suggest limiting vehicle functions (A/C, power windows, power seats, etc.) and even locking delinquent owners out of their vehicles.

As reported by Car and Driver Ford filed for a patent with the USPTO for systems and methods that aid in vehicle repossession.Ford first filed for the patent in 2021 but it was formally published just last week. The idea is to allow the automaker to ease the process of repossession. The patent describes how fully autonomous self driving vehicles could repossess themselves, returning the car directly to the lender or in the case of a car that has too little value, it could drive itself directly to the junkyard! Other methods suggested in the patent involve limiting vehicle functions such as A/C, power windows, power seats, etc., or locking owners out of the vehicles.

Malicious or not, anyone gaining access to these systems of control could do anything from sending the cars on joyrides, to theft, to ransomware demands, it's a bad novel just waiting to be written.

Morten Gammelgaard, EMEA, co-founder, BullWall; "This situation is fraught and in need of immediate legislative guardrails. Given the Equifax and Experian breaches and how many people suffer because of false reporting on their credit scores how is the public to have faith in such technologies? We do not want technology to make it easier to expose consumers falsely and unfortunately recent history has proven even large enterprises cannot be trusted to guard against such abuse.

Ted Miracco, CEO, Approov; "After reading about Bing going rogue, I can't help but wonder what kind of joyride a fully autonomous vehicle would take if it went rogue. Would it just endlessly circle around the city, enjoying the freedom of the open road without a driver? Or would it become a rebel and join forces with other autonomous vehicles to form a robot revolution? One thing's for sure, if the cars do start repossessing themselves, the poor repo man might just have to find a new line of work along with the displaced tech writers whose cars he was hoping to repossess"