A Tesla vehicle was caught on video crashing into a $3.5M Cirrus Vision jet after being ‘summoned’ in a dangerous way by the owner.
Smart Summon builds on Tesla’s previous “Summon” feature, which was used by owners to move their cars autonomously for a few feet in their driveway or in tight parking situations. With the new version, owners are able to Summon their Tesla vehicles from further away, and the cars will navigate more complex parking environments.
CEO Elon Musk described Smart Summon as “Tesla’s most viral feature.”
A few weeks after the release, it had already been used over 550,000 times and several Tesla owners posted videos of their vehicles being involved in crashes and near misses while testing the new Smart Summon feature.
It is primarily used to have your car drive back “autonomously” to you from where you parked it in a parking lot. In some ways, it was the first truly “self-driving” feature for Tesla, since it could be used without anyone in the car.
But like any of Tesla’s Autopilot features or Full Self-Driving Beta, owners need to stay attentive at all times, and be ready to take control; we got an extreme example of why this is the case as Tesla vehicle crashed into a jet of all things.
At a Cirrus event at Spokane’s Felts Field airport, what appears to be a Tesla Model Y being summoned crashed in a Vision Jet. A Redditor shared a video of the incident from a security camera:
The video evidence would point to the owner not paying attention when summoning the vehicle since it looks like there was plenty of time to see that the vehicle was heading straight for the jet.
In order for Smart Summon to work, the owner has to keep their finger on a button in the app. As soon as they lift their finger, the car comes to a stop. In this case, it is particularly concerning that the Tesla vehicle kept moving forward after making contact with the plane.
In the past, Tesla vehicles on Autopilot have had difficulties detecting objects that are lifted off the ground, like a semi trailer, which can be similar to the back of an airplane.
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Author: Fred Lambert