Tesla is at the forefront of automotive technology. Their electric cars, futuristic dashboards, enhanced connectivity, and driverless features are streets ahead of the competition but that doesn’t mean they aren’t without fault.
‘Smart Summon’ is a new Beta feature released by Tesla. In this instance, ‘Beta’ refers to the feature not being fully fleshed out yet and still in ‘testing mode’ which is VERY apparent based upon the explosion of videos that’s hit social media since the release of Smart Summon.
The feature is actually pretty incredible. A Tesla owner whose car has the Full Self-Driving package/option added can use the Tesla app to Summon their car in a parking lot from up to 200-feet away if the car is within sight.
So, if you’re walking out of a restaurant and can see your car, you whip open the app and call it over. The self-driving vehicle kicks into action and meets you at the curb after presumably avoiding any obstacles along the way. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
I’m sure once they perfect Smart Summon it will be another game-changer but for now, it’s causing mayhem in parking lots with the self-driving cars nearly causing accidents, driving off course, etc. Just check out the shit show that’s gone down over the past few days to see what I’m talking about.
Here the Tesla pulls out in front of a moving JEEP and nearly side-swipes the SUV:
A parking lot ‘front bumper’ incident:
It’s not all bad, however, here the Tesla performs admirably in a Walmart parking lot and blows some dang minds along the way.
There are A TON of videos on YouTube already of the Tesla Smart Summon feature working as it is intended. It definitely appears as if Smart Summon works perfectly much more frequently than it messes up but as is the case with the driver-less feature, the vast majority of people are only concerned with the handful of cases where this Beta feature released into cars on public roads messes up and puts other driver’s cars/safety at risk.
According to The Verge, Tesla is actively warning Smart Summon users that they are responsible:
Tesla warns owners to be careful with using Smart Summon because it’s not a fully autonomous feature. “You are still responsible for your car and must monitor it and its surroundings at all times and be within your line of sight because it may not detect all obstacles,” the fine print on Tesla’s website reads. “Be especially careful around quick moving people, bicycles and cars.”
I guess I have to wonder how long it will be before Tesla takes a feature like this out of ‘Beta’ and if they ever will at all. They could presumably leave this as a beta feature forever and never assume responsibility for software that might put people at risk in 1 out of every 1 million cases but that one case could still cause a complete shit show and they’d never be at fault.
According to The Verge, ardent champions of Tesla and Smart Summons are on the offensive here and accusing people of misusing the feature to deliberately film videos like the one above and/or lying about what went down. That’s certainly plausible but it’s just as likely that the newly-released beta feature still has some bugs to work out.
For more on this, you can click here to visit The Verge.