Have you made a car payment lately? If not, you might want to touch base with the bank before the repo man comes with a tow truck. Often times, motorists can miss a couple of payments to a lender before facing serious repercussions. Seldomly do late payments result in repossession, but crafty car manufacturers and banks will soon be looking at more creative options to make you pay up. Filings at the U.S. Patent office reveal that Ford is exploring some pretty dystopian recourse for making reluctant customers catch up on late payments. If successful, the patents will enable Ford to install new software into their vehicles to ensure more timely payments. If the driver gets behind on the loan, the software will start taking away certain car luxuries, like air conditioning, stereo and cruise control. Flashing messages on your dashboard might also appear for drivers in arears on payment. In extreme situations, smart driving cars could even drive themselves to a street corner to await retrieval. We might not be living the real life version of 1984 just yet, but technology’s invasiveness has reached a critical point that threatens our sanity and every free moment. Ford has reassured the public they have no plans for implementing the technology in the near future, thus begging the question, why even file the patent then?

Have We Given Up Personal Freedoms For Technological Convenience?

Imagine waking up one morning to discover your car has driven itself back to the Ford dealership; or even worse, to the junkyard if its depreciated below salvageable market value. If you’re fortunate enough to be only a week or two behind on your payment, your car’s speakers might simply emit a highly irritating noise during your morning commute until you pick up the phone to ante up with the bank. Originally intended to connect us with an interwoven global society, technology innovation is teetering on the verge of complete oversight and control. Facebook and Google’s data harvesting algorithms to monetize our likes and interests for high-paying advertisers is a slippery slope as we exchange freedom for subtle complicity to satisfy overzealous manufacturers. Late-night “doomscrolling” on Facebook is often interrupted by embedded advertisements begging for our attention just because we randomly searched out some nonsensical topic on Google. Imagine closing your Internet browser after looking for online reassurance to soothe your anxious nerves about health anxiety just to open up the Facebook app to get bombarded with ads about the “early warning signs of disease.” But we can’t complain. We signed up for this, and we are free to leave at anytime. So, why don’t we just log off? Because we don’t want to be cut off from the outside world. Our connectiveness to physical places no longer comes from sole in-person interactions as online communication now accounts for the bulk of our socialization. Big Tech understands the basic human need of touch, even if it comes from a tech conduit. Anxiety from “being cutoff from the pack” is hardwired into our primitive brains, a byproduct of the bygone era when separation from other humans during the prehistoric era meant certain death. Logging off now is akin to being thrown the wolves of isolation and perpetual anxiety.

Does Ford Tech Signal New Era of Creepy Oversight?

If Ford is successful in launching new “auto-pay” features, what comes next? Technological innovation in a free market is imitative at best. Judging by the success rate of lenders recovering losses from chronic debtors, other industries might soon take note. With that in mind, it’s not unreasonable to think about coming home one day just to realize the bank has locked you out of the house for being behind on the mortgage payment. Or maybe you find yourself logged out of Indeed or Monster, unable to access your resume to apply for jobs, because you failed to payback your student loan and the same lender tasked with managing your account is connected to the financial conglomerate that owns Internet subsidiaries like job sites and message boards. Automation and artificial intelligence already has the general population twisting in their chairs while they continue to writhe away at the keyboards. The launch of ChatGPT is already threatening warm-blooded positions in many industries like marketing, web design, education and customer service. (Can you even be certain a bot didn’t write this article?) At U.S. Safe Room, we can’t put up an everlasting firewall between you and the increasing number of digital threats, but we can protect you from real world dangers like hurricanes, tornadoes and burglars. Our retrofitted customizable safe rooms and steel-welded underground shelters can give you peace of mind by offering superior steel protection. U.S. Safe Room is nothing like the mega brands that persistently invade your privacy with collection notices, as we offer affordable financing for qualified customers. After all, it’s sort of hard to repossess a steel safe room buried deep below the ground.