A relatively dystopian if considerably anticipated use for related automobiles began doing the rounds this week with the invention of a patent, printed final month, titled “Techniques and strategies to repossess a automobile.”
Filed by Ford, the patent describes a system whereby a financial institution or leasing firm may remotely disable particular options—the air con or the radio—or maybe the automotive itself in circumstances the place the individual leasing the automobile hasn’t saved up with funds.
Maybe in recognition of the truth that the US has grow to be a particularly car-centric society because the Fifties, the patent describes how “the lockout situation could also be lifted momentarily in case of an emergency scenario in order to permit the automobile to journey to a medical facility when the emergency is a medical emergency.”
The patent additionally describes how the lockout could possibly be conditional, permitting homeowners to proceed utilizing the automobile in the course of the week so disruptions do not have an effect on their livelihood. The system may additionally let the automotive function inside an outlined geofence.
Along with utilizing a automobile’s GPS sensor to find the automobile, the patent describes utilizing different sensors, similar to optical cameras, lidar, and ultrasonic sensors, to find out whether or not the automobile has been parked in a storage to discourage a repossession try.
It even makes allowances for autonomous automobiles, which may successfully repossess themselves, driving to an impound lot upon request from a repossession pc.
Ford informed Ars, “We shouldn’t have any plans to deploy this. We submit patents on new innovations as a traditional course of enterprise, however they aren’t essentially a sign of latest enterprise or product plans.”