Tesla's new Smart Summon remote valet feature has already been used more than half a million times, Tesla CEO Elon Musk says, and while the company is celebrating the widespread adoption of its new tech, the roll-out has not been seamless.
Smart Summon allows owners to remotely summon their car so long as it is in line-of-sight and a relatively short range (Tesla says 200 feet). The idea is that the Tesla will un-park itself and pick its owner up curbside or in some other similarly convenient location. It's pitched as an alternative to walking to a parking space with heavy shopping bags or through a rain or snow storm.
The feature was in early access trials for some time before its wide-scale roll-out with the introduction of Tesla's 10.0 software package. The company said trial customer response was very positive. Based on Musk's tweet from Wednesday, the post-deployment response has been equally enthusiastic.
Over 550,000 Tesla Smart Summon uses in first few days!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 2, 2019
While Tesla sees this as a point of pride, the first week of Smart Summon has been somewhat rocky, as evidenced by a multitude of videos being circulated on social media. Eager to show off the new feature to friends, family and other followers, owners documented their experiences with Smart Summon to share with the world. The result is a highlight reel that could have been lifted from "America's Funniest Videos."
The Smart Summon shenanigans have drawn the attention of U.S. safety regulators, and while NHTSA has not launched a formal investigation, the agency says it has been in communication with Tesla.
Tesla is expected to fine-tune Smart Summon's operation as it receives feedback from both customers and the vehicles themselves, and performance should improve as a result.
We'd appreciate your feedback as Tesla owners, or observers, so please do tell us what you think of the feature in your comments below. Is it helpful, more of a gimmick, or risky business?