Smart Summon has been out for a while now, released with the V10 software update in mid-September. But it appears traditional media, and the public at large, are still completely in the dark, and scared of, Tesla’s latest technology.
The incident in question was captured on video in Richmond BC at the CF Richmond Centre. Ironically, this is the same parking lot as the latest Supercharger in the lower mainland currently under construction, slated for completion by the end of the month.
A white Tesla Model 3 can be seen driving along while the owner is clearly using Smart Summon, like countless other videos we’ve seen before. But for some reason CityNews Vancouver picked up the story (via Richmond News) and called it “shocking, bizarre, and dangerous”. Not to mention the fact that they called it a Model S, they also claimed in the news report the Tesla was driving illegally, when there are clearly no regulations prohibiting the use of Smart Summon in public parking lots. If it was, it is almost certain that Tesla would not have released the update in Canada (as it was, it was released in Canada on October 10, several weeks after the US received it).
For some perspective, parking lots are a lot riskier than most think. Statistically, 1 in 5 accidents in Canada occur in parking lots. In the US, tens of thousands of crashes occur in parking lots, resulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries. Smart Summon is a technology that is always attentive, using the multiple cameras and radar on the vehicle to monitor its surroundings and come to a complete stop when it detects an obstacle, person or vehicle, in its path.
Is the technology perfect? Not yet, but it is getting exponentially better with every use. Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed over 1,000,000 uses of Smart Summon so far during the Q3 2019 earnings call, allowing Tesla’s neural net to learn from those experiences and get better.
I know personally I would feel much more comfortable in a parking lot full of Tesla’s using Smart Summon than a parking lot full of tired, angry, and frustrated drivers in a rush to get home in time for dinner.
Driverless Tesla on the move at Richmond Centre. @NEWS1130 @BT_Vancouver pic.twitter.com/GEbHTajlsk
— CityNews Vancouver (@CityNewsVAN) November 5, 2019