Your Ford F-150 Could Drive Away Due to Missed Payments
The tech in the Ford F-150 is already cutting edge, but trucks could be getting smarter. The next innovative step might involve protecting creditors by allowing remote access to vehicles. As a result, your Ford F-150 or other models might automatically drive away if it gets repossessed.
The Ford F-150 has an autonomous repossession patent
Hopefully, people intend to make the payments when they buy vehicles like Ford F-150 models. However, life can often disrupt your planes. Things like economic slowdowns and unexpected finances may occur.
If you fall behind on your car payments, then the creditor will try to take it back. This can be frustrating and potentially dangerous for everyone involved. But Ford is working on a safer solution.
Ford filed a patent that covers systems and methods to repossess a vehicle. It lists a few different methods to make things easier for the creditor but more difficult and uncomfortable for the person struggling to make payments.
For example, the creditor could disable functions such as the air conditioning remotely. They might be able to prevent the engine from starting too.
Can the F-150 drive itself?
The answer to this question is sort of. The Ford F-150 is available with Ford BlueCruise or the Active Drive Assist feature. It allows you to go hands-free while in areas covered by Blue Zones. It includes over 130,000 miles of North American roads.
It builds upon the intelligent adaptive cruise control system with stop-and-go, lane centering, and speed sign recognition to allow you to go hands-free. The system monitorings drivers with a camera to ensure they’re paying attention to the road.
The autonomous repossession patent aims to build upon this technology with Level 2 and Level 3 autonomous driving capabilities, which will most likely be available in the future anyways.
It would allow the creditor to remotely command the Ford F-150 to drive to a safer or easier area for a tow truck to reach. According to MotorTrend, it could even return the vehicle directly to the creditor.
This could benefit creditors if the vehicles are stored on private property or in difficult areas to access.
The patent includes a contingency system that calculates how much the owner owes on the vehicle and how much it would cost to tow and resell it. If it calculates a loss, the vehicle can be instructed to drive itself to a junkyard or scrap yard.
When could the F-150 repo itself?
The autonomous repossession system is only a patent, so it could be years before the Ford F-150, Mustang Mach-E Explorer, Expedition, or other vehicles receive this technology. Ford might not even move forward with this project.
There are a few issues to consider. For example, what happens if a truck is out of gas or an electric vehicle has no charge? Can creditors see if a pet or child is in the backseat?
The semi-autonomous driving tech from Tesla has tons of issues. Tesla models are attracted to parked vehicles on the side of the road, run stop signs, and get stuck at high speeds. Who knows if the NHSTA will even approve this tech as safe enough for the general public.
But the Ford F-150 is working on some fantastic features, and our experience with BlueCruise has been mostly pleasant. Sometimes the system would lose its connection and seem a bit sensitive.
Anyways, we are tracking this patent for updates. Stay tuned for the latest updates, and don’t panic if you see a Ford F-150 driving itself.