Last week, a Telsa owner got in a spat with the company after his car crashed while parking itself. Tesla blamed the owner for the accident and said there was nothing wrong with the Summon feature. Regardless of who is at fault, Tesla has modified the software to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Summon is a feature that will auto-park a Tesla Model S or X without the driver being inside, and then un-park the vehicle when it’s time to go. The accident recent accident was during the parking phase: a driver in Utah watched on while his Model S parked itself into the back of a trailer.
Tesla examined the logs, and claimed that it was the driver’s fault, saying he ignored a number of warning messages. But in order to make drivers even more accountable, Tesla has changed the Summon feature to require more human oversight. Drivers now have to explicitly confirm the path their Tesla is going to take to ensure it’s free of obstacles.
That should serve double duty preventing accidents, and making sure that Tesla is not liable for any crashes that might occur. It’s a good move to fix a feature that was a little too easy to activate by mistake — previously, drivers would just press the park lever twice, and when they got out, their car would start parking itself. Given how often I accidentally butt-dial people, moving a motor vehicle around should probably require a little more verification than making a phone call.
The new update is available for all Model S and X owners now.