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What is Tesla’s Smart Summon Feature

3 min read
Tesla Smart Summon Feature

Tesla Smart Summon Feature


Tesla Is Stepping Further Into the Future With Smart Summon Release

Tesla has become synonymous with automotive and technological innovation. Elon Musk’s company pioneered the field of self-driving cars. Tesla recently announced the launch of a program that takes the natural next step towards completely automated road vehicles. This new programming feature is called Tesla Smart Summon.

Smart Summon Early Access Program

The Smart Summon feature was recently rolled out to a select, invitation-only Early Access Program. This group received access to an early release software patch. This patch makes any Auto-Pilot capable Tesla Smart Summon capable. As of the time of writing Tesla Ceo Elon Musk more than half a million Tesla owners have installed the feature.

The Smart Summon feature allows users to “Summon” their Tesla to meet them at their current location or at a defined location within a small range.

Tesla has stated that owners must have a “line of sight” to the vehicle in order to use the Smart Summon feature. When watching footage of the feature in action, that requirement may be more of a suggestion.

The feature is designed to be used in parking lots or other closed traffic areas. The system appears to utilize the camera, radar, and obstacle sensors to navigate Teslas from their parking spot back to the driver. While driving the system is constantly scanning for obstructions.

Limited Speeds

Speed is limited to 4mph. But some videos suggest speeds as high as 6 mph. Drivers must keep a close eye on the app and the vehicle while using the feature. This feature may seem like a natural expansion of the Tesla AutoPilot system, but Smart Summon faces a lot off of unique challenges.

Autopilot Versus Smart Summon

While AutoPilot navigates roads at higher speeds using the same cameras and sensors. It also has the liberty to make several assumptions about the road conditions. The system calculates the probable location and direction of any obstacles. Tesla has a lot of mapping data of public roads that helps training the Autopilot. Parking lots, on the other hand, have not been mapped at the same extent so we can assume that the system is still learning. It does seem to be able to do long distances.

The Smart Summon system has to cope with a lot of unpredictable events. Pedestrian traffic that fluctuates in density and pattern. Drivers ignoring driving lanes and cutting between parking spaces. Parking decks with very tight turn radii and blind corners. We just listed some of the many unique obstacles that must be accounted for when using the Smart Summon feature.

Alertness for drivers is still required

There are some serious incidents involving failed Tesla products. But much of the bad press surrounding incidents with Tesla vehicles operating in automated modes can be attributed to driver alertness.

Even the emergence of new videos showing Teslas in Smart Summon mode driving over lawns or running red lights can be summed up with a simple statement, the Tesla is not a perfect car. Owners must behave responsibly and utilize the amazing technology these vehicles possess with a healthy dose of common sense.

Tesla repeatedly warns users that features like the original Summon, Smart Summon, and AutoPilot must be used while the driver is alert and paying full attention to the surroundings. Drivers should monitor it surroundings at all times and remain responsible.

Read our Tesla Model X review here. We also wonder if the Mercedes EQC will have some sort of Smart Summon functionality.


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