Tesla released its V10 software last week featuring the long-awaited Smart Summon feature, which gives drivers the ability to summon their vehicles to them from across the parking lot of in some other complex scenario. Right out of a James Bond movie, right? Well, according to TheDrive.com, several drivers have already begun reporting that their Teslas were getting into accidents when using the Smart Summon feature.
Not so Smart Feature?
One Twitter user posted a video of another vehicle backing into his Model 3 while he summoned the car in a fairly busy parking lot. The operator of the Tesla went on to question who was responsible for the accident – his Model 3 or the Lexus that backed into it while it was being summoned. He later posted a photo showing damage to his bumper cover and fog lights.
One Twitter user posted a video of another vehicle backing into his Model 3 while he summoned the car in a fairly active parking lot. The operator of the Tesla went on to question who was responsible for the accident—the Model 3, or the Lexus that backed into it while it was being summoned. He later posted a photo showing damage to his bumper cover and fog lights.
Another person attempted to summon their Model 3 across live traffic in a different parking lot and nearly crashed into another vehicle. Tesla has stated that the vehicle “requires supervision” while the feature is in use. Tesla has said that Smart Summon “is designed to allow your car to drive you using your phone’s GPS as a target destination, or a location of your choosing, maneuvering around and stopping for objects as necessary.” Tesla also says that the feature is only intended for use in private parking lots and driveways and that drivers are “still responsible” for their vehicles and must monitor the cars and their surroundings.
The Safety Issue
This so-called driverless feature is reminiscent of Tesla’s Autopilot, which has posed serious safety issues raising questions about the readiness of these autonomous and semi-autonomous features for our roadways. When it came to the Autopilot, Tesla marketed the feature as “autonomous,” but later backtracked and said drivers need to keep their hands on the steering wheel and take over and any time. They seem to be going down a similar road with the Smart Summon feature. Once again, it’s misleading for drivers who believe they have a driverless feature, and may not be aware of the finer points and complexities of using such a feature.
Our auto defect attorneys have always maintained that autonomous features should not make it to the market without proper testing. Don’t release it until it’s ready for primetime. In this case, it would appear that Tesla has jumped the gun yet again.