Ford has applied for a patent for a “repossession system computer” (RPC) that can turn your car into a self-driving vehicle if you fall behind on payments. It makes your life increasingly miserable until you pay up. Eventually, it drives to a repo lot or junks itself. If they made a mistake, oh, well.
“The idea of self-driving cars repossessing themselves might sound dystopian, but it is not surprising that automakers are considering this technology to ensure payment. Repossession is a common practice, and as we’ve described recently, cracks are beginning to form in the subprime auto loan market.”
The patent, titled “Systems and Methods to Repossess a Vehicle,” explains how a future lineup of Ford vehicles would be capable of disabling “a functionality of one or more components of the vehicle.”
The patent application was published on February 23rd of this year.
If a driver misses a car payment, the vehicle will disable air-conditioning, radio, GPS, and cruise control to irritate the driver.
Can you imagine what a forgotten payment could do to cause even more tension in this very tense world we live in?
The missed payment cycle keeps getting worse as time goes on. They even have an “incessant and unpleasant sound” that will torture drivers. Eventually, the vehicle will lock out the driver on certain days.
I won’t buy a GM car after what they did to investors during the Obama bailout. Now Ford is off my list. I’ve never missed a car payment, but I don’t want a car that could lock me out.
Police could use it to force you to the side of the road. Take your kill switches to Hades, Ford. Just wait until you see the road rage accidents you cause.
Eventually, the vehicle drives to a safe, nearby location for the repo team to seize it, or worse.
It can direct your car to a waiting tow truck, a dealership, or even a scrapyard if it deems it worthless.
Read the rest of the story on this link to an article by Leo Hohmann.
IMO no one in the comments feels that someone should keep a car they aren’t paying for, it is wrong and is stealing, however, to give a valid and pertinent example which continues to plague the world today, most everyone does not support or believe piracy is a good thing either, a few decades ago Sony decided to fight “piracy” by releasing a “small” program with they’re products that installs itself without the computer owners knowledge which some idiot in that company thought was a GREAT idea, the only real difference here is that Sony did not advertise that they were doing this and did not admit to doing it until after this code began to show up and be used maliciously. They tried to get rid of it then, and only then, and discovered it was one heck of a public relations nightmare for them, by then it was too late as that code was “in the wild”.
This program was installed in the ROOT DIRECTORY and effectively prevented itself from being detected and not easily removed when it was, then some bad actor(s) discovered it and began to use it in they’re malicious code, NOW YOU HAVE ROOT KITS!
The bane of a lot of PC owners, every other device that uses the majority of OS’s out there and anti-malware companies. If you look in the settings of most anti-malware programs you will see a separate setting for rootkits, they are still a headache for a lot of people and not easily detected and removed.
It started out as a good idea, and I’m sure they could have probably convinced the general public that it was a good idea using the majority that didn’t know or understand technology or those that do but didn’t support piracy, but the reality is that the corporation needed to take a step back and try to decide what exactly are the risks involved and determine if it was actually such a good idea to begin with.
Every time some corporation chooses to convince customers that whatever they are doing that erodes more personal ownership of a product that the customers pay for and use as the excuse that there are a few bad apples out there is asinine and totally messed up and it is just one more disaster waiting to happen.
The used car market will become bigger than ever…not only people who not only sell used cars, people who fix used cars,
but the people who make parts for older cars will be making 10 times or a 100 times more money because they will sell 10 or 100 times more parts because most people will hang on their older car.
or maybe I am foolishly believing most people are not dumb sheep…
Like so many things, while the idea is meant to be helpful it will end up being abused. I’ve had an idiot light telling me I have low tire pressure for the past few years. I don’t have low tire pressure, but it’s lit every day. Imagine hackers figuring out how to signal every Ford in the city to suddenly repossess themselves!
It’s lit “everyday” because one of your tire sensors is bad. FIX IT and it will GO AWAY !!
This should be illegal on so many levels. It’s bad enough that modern cars have so much technology that they always seem to have something broke. And then there is the Chevy Bolt which apparently has a reputation of catching fire in your garage and burning your house down. The Best Car I ever drove was my mother’s 1963 Rambler Station Wagon. You could do all the maintenance yourself. My 1972 Fiat 124 Spyder wasn’t bad either. Pretty much every car I owned since then was American and a problem child. So much for buying American when it comes to cars. Even the foreign cars built in America are better than America Cars. Now why is that?
If you buy a car and then stop making payments on it, you have no right to keep that car. My friend started out as a repo man for a certain car company. It was a dangerous job and that was back in the 70’s. Threatened, guns pulled on him. Now look at how people behave. A lot worse. I see that OnPatrol show on TV and they love the car chases where some creep takes off and drives 100mph putting innocent people in danger. Cops would love to have an electronic device that would disable the car.
Riiiight… just “disable” the car so the person has no brakes or steering. GREAT IDEA…(sarc)