Tesla receives scathing review of 'glitchy' Smart Summon feature
By now you've all read about Tesla's new feature called "Smart Summon." If you haven't read or seen it in action on social media, the feature allows you to summon your Tesla to you using the GPS signal in your phone. It uses sensors to guide the car to you so it doesn't run into on coming traffic and cause a massive crash. Pretty neat!
Only, there's one problem: it doesn't really work as intended.
As you can see, many as using it in parking lots across the country. However, the car never seems to stop where the user intends and generally causes some confusion. One video I saw was a family using the feature to bring the car to them during a heavy rainstorm. Perfect idea to not get drenched when you're caught without an umbrella. Problem is, the car stopped about 20-30 yards away, in the middle of the street, blocking traffic. So yea, that's not great.
The core issue is that phone GPS is never an exact location when you get to the ground level. It's always a range of 5-30 feet depending on device and service provider.
Enter in Consumer Reports. CR is not one to sugar coat things, especially on the editorial side. They buy their cars for reporting and all data collected by them is from their users and consumers. So their word is generally regarded as well respected.
And what did they say about the Smart Summon Feature? Well...
"We found that the system works only intermittently, depending on the car’s reading of the surroundings. In one case, the system worked in one section of a private lot, but in another part of the lot it mistakenly detected that it was on a public road and shut itself down. At various times, our Model 3 would suddenly stop for no obvious reason. We found that the automation was glitchy and at times worked intermittently, without a lot of obvious benefits for consumers."
Yikes. But this is a pretty well known thing in Tesla land. Consumers that have purchased the car are routinely given updates, like the Smart Summon feature, where they're being used a beta testers for incomplete and not fully functioning features.
When a company does all this for their consumers AND gets it right, Tesla will be in a world of trouble. But we're many years off from that being a reality.