Tesla just released an insanely cool feature, but it might not actually be ready for people to use.
The new feature, called Smart Summon, reverses the Tesla out of a parking space and navigates the car toward you, if you’re holding your smartphone and purchased the full self-driving package for your Tesla. But like many technological achievements that sound amazing on paper, there have been some unintended consequences. Namely that the car doesn’t seem to know when it’s approaching an obstacle, and has no sense of when another car is crossing its path.
Tesla describes Smart Summon as such on its website: “Your car will navigate more complex environments and parking spaces, maneuvering around objects as necessary to come find you in a parking lot.” It’s very cool technology.
But in videos shared on YouTube and Twitter, and reported by The Verge, Smart Summon isn’t operate as smoothly as it should. In one video, the car reverses out of its space and approaches the driver, but nearly hits an oncoming SUV entering the parking lot.
So, @elonmusk - My first test of Smart Summon didn't go so well. @Tesla #Tesla #Model3 pic.twitter.com/yC1oBWdq1ISeptember 28, 2019
In another video, the car is clearly confused by an oncoming truck and then pedestrians who aren’t in the Tesla’s path, but are gawking at the spectacle off to the side. It takes several minutes for Tesla to make its way to its driver, which, at that point, isn’t convenient at all. Someone tried out Smart Summon in his driveway and ended up with a dented Tesla after the car ran into the garage. Not ideal.
Be forewarned @Tesla @elonmusk Enhanced summon isn’t safe or production ready. Tried in my empty drive way. Car went forward and ran into the side of garage. Love the car but saddened. #Tesla #TeslaModel3 pic.twitter.com/tRZ88DmXAWSeptember 28, 2019
Other Tesla owners have reported minor accidents due to Smart Summon. Tesla, for its part, says that the feature requires human supervision. The question as to whether Smart Summon isn’t advanced enough for the public to use or whether Tesla owners are using the feature irresponsibly won’t matter if someone is injured.