It sounds like such a great idea.
Imagine being able to drive up to the front of a shopping mall, airport, or doctor’s office, and then instruct your vehicle to park itself, and then to be able to “summon” the vehicle when you’re ready to go home.
Tesla has rolled out the second half, called “Smart Summon,” which is supposed to allow the vehicle to navigate a parking lot back to the driver.
A Tesla software update last month added the Smart Summon feature for some customers. When the car is within 200 feet and in their line of sight, they use a phone app to summon the vehicle in a parking lot.
But even though Tesla is touting the feature, Consumer Reports magazine has called the system “glitchy.”
Yeah, that’s the word. When your car runs into garage walls, other cars, and backs into things, that seems pretty “glitchy.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said last week it was looking into parking lot crashes of Tesla Model 3s trying to drive to owners under the Smart Summon feature.
Several users have also posted videos on social media of Tesla vehicles that appear to have been in near accidents. One posted a video of a Tesla striking a garage wall and another of a Tesla being struck by a vehicle backing up.
In an understatement, Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at the magazine said:
“Consumers are not getting fully tested, consumer-ready technology. What consumers are really getting is the chance to participate in a kind of science experiment.”
Fisher didn’t clarify if consumers were part of a vehicle experiment or a car insurance experiment. What do you tell GEICO when your car drives itself into another car or a wall?