Ford has just filed a patent for a system that penalizes car owners who are late in their payments. In case of recovery of the vehicle and to avoid any incident, it may leave alone to the pound.
Autonomous car manufacturers promise us worlds and wonders, while their detractors raise questions about the errors of on-board artificial intelligence, or the risks of hacking. But Ford wants to implement a spine-chilling new feature. Literally. Spotted by The DriveFord has just filed a patent to turn off the heating or any other system of the car in case of loan default. A function that can even go as far as taking over the vehicle remotely in the case of an autonomous car.
In case of default, the owner receives a notification from the lender. If it does not respond after several reminders, the body can start by triggering the blocking of certain systems such as the radio or the air conditioning. The next step could be to play an unpleasant noise every time the owner is present, then finally go so far as to completely lock the vehicle to prevent its use. An exception may be made in the event of an emergency in order to be able to go to the hospital.
The car could even go to the scrapyard
In the case of an autonomous car, in order to avoid any risk of incident with the owner, the car can move on its own to another place, for example leaving its garage to be towed more easily. But it could also be driven to the pound, or any other place designated by the lending agency.
The icing on the cake is the last point. In the event that the recovery of the vehicle would not be profitable, the document explicitly indicates that the car could be ordered to go to the scrapyard on its own. It makes you wonder if we might not soon see the police in pursuit behind an autonomous car that went to the pound with a child on board. Not to mention the risk of seeing this system hijacked by hackers who could then steal the cars remotely.