Owners warned to take care with Tesla’s ‘self-summon’ feature

Tesla recently wowed its drivers and the rest of the population alike when it released a software update containing the ‘self-summon’ software for all drivers who had purchased the full self-driving package.

The update would allow Tesla owners to ‘summon’ their vehicle electronically from up to 200ft away as long as they were within the line of sight of the vehicle. Fitted with sensors, radars and cameras, the vehicle would drive itself to the owner, avoiding the need for drivers to have to walk to their cars in a carpark.

However, the rollout of the software has not gone as smoothly as Tesla would have liked. Videos of owners trialling the self-summoning feature on their Teslas are surfacing online and the outcomes have not entirely gone smoothly.

In various videos, vehicles have been seen driving into parked cars, hitting walls and poles while manoeuvring and failing to detect other vehicles coming into their path.

One particular video shows the owner summoning their car from a car park on the other side of the road. The feature appears to be working perfectly until it nearly collides with a passing car it failed to detect during its attempt to cross the street. In a moment of quick thinking, the owner takes his finger off the summoning button on his phone, bringing the vehicle to an immediate halt and narrowly avoiding a collision.

Malfunctions of the summoning software are being blamed on the software being in beta mode. During this time, drivers are responsible for their vehicle even if it is driving itself.

Tesla says the feature was only designed to be used in private driveways and carparks, and in its current state the software is not capable of detecting all obstacles in its path.

Tesla owners are reminded to be “especially careful around quick-moving people, bicycles and cars,” while the software is still being tested.

3 Oct 2019

Original source: The Australian | Hazard warning as Tesla owners ‘summon’ their self-driving cars (subscription required)