Ford files patent for cars that can regenerate themselves

Ford files patent for cars that can regenerate themselves

Ford is paving the way for autonomous cars that can functionally reproduce themselves, as evidenced by a patent application spotted by People. Drive, Submitted back in 2021 but only recently published, the application says Ford seeks to patent a “system and methods for repositioning a vehicle,” but going by the details, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

If Ford’s accounting department decides you are delinquent, there are myriad ways the company can force Car to pay you, because nothing can be broken. And Sad. As if? For starters, it can georeference the area where you’re allowed to drive (better turn left, Marcy, or you won’t turn Absolutely, Failing that, Ford says it can command the audio system to “emit a constant and obnoxious sound every time the owner is present in the vehicle”, for example, or other key features like climate control can disable.

From there, other systems in the car can be commanded to help the bank locate your car. Camera and sensor data about the surroundings can be transmitted to the reposing agency. And if none of these do the trick, vehicles with self-driving features may be called to a holding yard of the bank’s choosing as the repossession process begins.

In fairness, the patent application does make some adjustments for emergency situations. If the in-car system determines that you are experiencing a medical crisis (eg, heat stroke due to the fact that they disabled your air conditioning), it will kindly call you an ambulance.

Such a system raises questions not only about whether it is ethical to use it as intended, but what other applications it might have and what the consequences might be if it is misused. Look no further than the recent shenanigans at Hertz to see how quickly small clerical errors can spiral out of control.

Ford’s application makes it clear that the cars of tomorrow will be capable of all kinds of high-tech wizardry, but there’s one glaring omission, if you ask me: If your F-150 is going to leave you all on its own, So at least it’s a first you can write a country song about.

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