A new patent could help banks to automatically repossess vehicles for non-payment.

According to the “System & Methods to Repossess a Vehicle” patent, recently filed by auto giant Ford Motor Company, a system installed on all future Ford vehicles could potentially be able to automatically disable vehicle functions, some of which are critical to the operation of the vehicle, in the event of a customer’s non-payment.

Source: Tx-re/CC BY-SA 3.0Source: Tx-re/CC BY-SA 3.0

This so-called “repossession computer” could gradually, following the issuance of several alerts about late or non-payment, disable features of the vehicle. For instance, the system might first start to disable non-critical features of the vehicle such as cruise or seat control, then air conditioning and eventually, locking the driver out of the car entirely.

The patent also details the possibility of installing technology that would enable autonomous vehicle transfer from initial location to a secondary location for towing, for instance.

Once at the towing location, the vehicle could potentially be towed to the agency handling repossession or to the junk yard.

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