Tesla to Update Self-Parking Feature Due to Safety Concern

Tesla to Update Self-Parking Feature Due to Safety Concern

Tesla will update its self-parking feature known as ‘summon’ due to safety concerns. 

Summon allows the Model S to pull itself into or out of a parking spot without the need for a driver, though you must control the car with a cellphone app or with the key fob. In testing, Consumer Reports found that the Tesla Model S would continue to move if the cellphone app was closed, or if the key fob was dropped.

That fact, combined with the system’s inability to detect certain objects that are close to the ground like duffle bags or skinny objects like bicycles, make it dangerous. Summon is still in beta testing and is clearly marked as such by Tesla.

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To fix the issue, Tesla will take advice from Consumer Reports and install a dead-man switch, which means that when your finger leaves the phone screen or lets go of the key fob button, the car will automatically stop. This will prohibit the Model S from hitting something in the event that you drop the fob or close the app accidentally.

The system allows the Model S to drive itself up to 33 feet at very slow speeds, around 1 mph.

There are some fail safes built into the system already. If the engine has to put out any additional torque to overcome an obstacle, the car will stop, while touching the door handles will also make the car stop.

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[Source: Consumer Reports]

  • Glen

    Boy, if they could come up with a sensor that prevents cars from curbing their wheels, they would have an industry winner on their hands! (please send royalty checks to me!) 🙂

  • Anibal Jodorcovsky

    Just want to post an update about this. As of today (March 21, 2016) the fob is no longer working for summon and the app works differently – where you have to hold your finger on the button (as the reporter mentions). So, although this report is valuable and points out a safety concern, Tesla was very quick to update the software and introduce the dead-man switch functionality.