Has Ford Begun the Nightmare of 1984?
Is Big Brother watching us? The premise of George Orwell’s novel “1984” was that by the year 1984, we would all be completely monitored by the government. In his novel, the government was called Big Brother. Although it didn’t happen quite as soon as Orwell predicted, a new Ford patent could lead us down this path with autonomous vehicles.
What new Ford patent could lead to more overreach and corporate control?
In the case of this new Ford patent filing, the control doesn’t go to Big Brother or the government but to Ford Motor Company. Car and Driver highlights the most recent filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is for vehicles that could repossess themselves.
How could a vehicle repossess itself?
Under the new Ford patent, the Ford vehicle would require autonomous technology to drive itself from your driveway to the impound lot or back to the dealership. Imagine waking up, and your vehicle is no longer in your driveway because it repossessed itself back to the company. This could be the case for many future drivers.
Should vehicles be capable of self-repossession?
If a consumer has missed several payments on the vehicle, shouldn’t the company be able to take that car back? When a finance company, in this case, Ford Motor Company, repossesses a vehicle, it’s not typically after the first missed payment. In fact, many finance companies offer ample opportunities for consumers to make payments before starting the repossession process.
Adding software allowing a vehicle to drive itself to a car lot where repossessed cars are located only makes the process easier for the financing company.
Forget hiding your car; it could take itself back to the dealership
Car repossession has been an entertaining subject on television with the explosion of reality shows. That said, it’s never a positive experience for the consumer or the financing company. Some consumers try to hide or move their cars to avoid repossession, but if future vehicles can return to the financing company, that will be a thing of the past.
Should Ford push forward with this new patent?
Future technology almost always comes with strong opinions on both sides. On one hand, the consumer may be down on their luck and trying to figure out how to make payments to avoid repossession. On the other hand, most finance companies offer several opportunities to communicate and extend payments. Repossession of a vehicle is a lose-lose scenario for the consumer and the finance company.
The answer to whether or not Ford, and other automakers, should include technology to allow cars to repossess themselves depends on how you feel about autonomous technology and fiscal responsibility. Some will wonder where the overreach ends and consider this tech an invasion of privacy, with the consumer as the victim. Others understand the finance company extended a loan with the understanding of regular payments, and those terms aren’t being met.
If self-driving cars have the capability to repossess themselves, where does the oversight and overreach of Big Brother end? Are we truly heading down the path to making 1984 become a reality?
Next, check out the frunk of the Ford F-150 Lightning, or learn a little more about the new Ford patent in this video below: