Guiding on your car payments? Your automobile could quickly be driving itself to the pound. Ford Motor Enterprise has utilized for a patent that would enable a laptop to disable a car or component of a automobile more than delinquent automobile payments and could lead to automobiles self-driving them selves to repossession heaps.

The patent application released very last month claims to request a answer to automobile entrepreneurs currently being unwilling to have their cars repossessed by remotely disabling the automobile or a ingredient of the motor vehicle if a delinquency observe isn’t acknowledged more than a specific interval of time.

“When an acknowledgement is not acquired within a fair period of time of time, the to start with computer system might disable a performance (radio, air-conditioner, and so on) or may spot the car in a lockout issue,” states the patent software released in February as portion of a general public evaluate of the patent system.

The patent describes a repossession process pc configured to communicate with the auto pc and/or smartphone of the driver and lists numerous optional components of the vehicle it could be related to, these types of as cruise handle, automatic window controls, seat controls, radio and GPS, doorway locking technique, and air conditioning.

“Disabling such factors may perhaps cause an more stage of distress to a driver and occupants of the vehicle,” said the patent software. The application is even now pending acceptance and could be mounted on any potential auto in Ford’s lineup with a information connection.

The software cites many probable eventualities for the repossession computer system to use, which includes “configuring the audio component to emit an incessant and unpleasant seem each time the proprietor is present in the vehicle” and “placing the car or truck in a lockout condition”. The patent cites a automobile digicam that can be made use of to establish if there’s an unexpected emergency to unlock the car or truck and that the laptop or computer can be utilized to warn the law enforcement with GPS area if an operator tries to block the repossession energy.

Motor vehicle repossessions in the US have been on the increase due to the fact drops in the starting of the Covid-19 pandemic. In May perhaps 2021, the range of subprime borrowers, people with decrease-than-average credit history scores, at minimum 60 times at the rear of their motor vehicle payments hit a seven-year lower of 2.58% but experienced enhanced to 5.67% as of December 2022.

Among July 2020 and July 2022, new vehicle charges greater about 20% and utilised vehicle rates soared by about 40% all through the exact same period.

A spokesperson for Ford reported in an e-mail: “We do not have any plans to deploy this. We post patents on new innovations as a usual course of company, but they are not essentially an indicator of new business enterprise or solution ideas. We were being granted 1,342 patents past yr (extra than a few a day), spanning a vast selection of ideas.”

By Tara