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Ford Applied for a Patent That Will Take Over Your Car if You’re Late on a Payment

Ford Applied for a Patent That Will Take Over Your Car if You’re Late on a Payment

Have you ever missed a car payment and thought, “Gee, I really wish my car could annoy—nay, punish—me for this”? Well, have no fear because Ford is seeking a patent for just such a system.

That’s right, Ford wants to be able to annoy you with endless notifications, constant beeps and chimes, or even lock you out of your car entirely if you miss a payment. The company has applied for a patent appropriately dubbed the “systems and methods to repossess a vehicle.” The patent outlines a series of increasingly annoying punishments that the car can inflict upon its owners for missing payments.

Here’s what would happen.

First, the car will bug you about your late payment through the infotainment system or smartphone app. Then, it will start disabling certain features, starting with the radio, GPS and other “discomfort-causing” features.

But wait, there’s more! The car will then escalate matters by disabling the air conditioning and automatic door locking and unlocking systems, which will cause “an additional level of discomfort” to the people in the car. Because nothing says “pay your bills on time” quite like sweating profusely in your own car.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the car will activate an “unpleasant” audio component, such as a radio, beeper or chime.

If that’s not enough to get you to pay the bill, your car will start locking you out on the weekends. This would allow “use of the vehicle during weekdays” in order to avoid “adversely affecting a livelihood of the owner of the vehicle.”

If, after all that you still haven’t paid up, the car will aid in its own repossession, using on-board cameras to help repo companies find the exact location of the vehicle. If it’s a self-driving car, it could even move itself to an area where repossession is easier.

And the best part? You can’t disable any of it without contacting the bank and resolving the missing payments.

While all of this certainly sounds like a car from a dystopian nightmare, Wes Sherwood, a spokesperson for Ford, clarified that this patent is only meant to encourage a “culture of innovation.”

“Ford was granted more than 1,300 patents in 2022 as part of encouraging a culture of innovation,” Sherwood said. “We submit patents on new inventions as a normal course of business, but they aren’t necessarily an indication of new business or product plans.”

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