Editor's Note: Ford issued a statement on Aug. 23, saying it's no longer pursuing the patent application or the idea behind it.
Ford has applied for a patent that would allow it to repossess vehicles whose loan holders are delinquent on payments, The Drive reported.
If approved, the technology would allow remote control of any future model connected to the internet, including moving a vehicle for a tower’s pickup or a vehicle driving itself to a junkyard if repossession proves too expensive, the publication said.
Ford filed the application, “Systems and Methods to Repossess a Vehicle,” in August 2021, and it was formally published late last month.
The system would have the capability of disabling one or more vehicle components, including the engine and air conditioning unit. For models with autonomous or semiautonomous functionality, the technology could move the vehicle.
The Drive said it’s aware of no other brand that’s pursued such technology, but it pointed out that the patent application doesn’t necessarily mean the technology will be employed if a patent is granted.
“All of this being said, patent documents, especially applications like this one, do not necessarily represent an automaker's intent to introduce the described feature, process, or technology to its vehicles,” the publication said. “Ford might just be attempting to protect this idea for the sake of doing so.”