When the owner of a Tesla “summoned” the car via a smartphone app, the car was caught driving the wrong way down the road to pick the owner up. With no one behind the wheel of the moving vehicle, the car is basically a dangerous weapon that has the power to squash pedestrians if it wasn’t paying attention to its surroundings.
Based on the fact that it was going the wrong way down the road, it didn’t seem to be following the rules of the road. That means the car is a liability to public safety, and Tesla needs to do something about it.
The vehicle, which is a Model 3, was shown stopping and starting as it desperately tries to reunite with its owner. The car is moving by itself via a new feature that was rolled out to supporting Tesla cars on September 26, 2019, via the Smart Summon function.
Although Tesla thought their function was ready for the wide world, Tesla users are a lot more critical of it. And now that this footage was caught on tape, proving that the vehicle is a liability, it is clear that it is not safe for mass consumption yet.
The incident was filmed in a parking lot in Richmond, British Columbia. While the Smart Summon feature supposedly allows the car to drive short distances to meet the owner – like from the parking lot to the front of the building – it needs to be able to do it safely if it is going to work. While the idea behind the Smart Summon is brilliant, it can be very dangerous if the driverless function of Tesla’s cars is not yet up to par.
Tesla users have reported a lot of problems with the feature. They’ve claimed that driverless cars have caused traffic jams and had several near misses. Some of the most dangerous near misses include almost plowing down pedestrians as they go about their business.
Tesla describes the function as letting cars “navigate a parking lot and come to them or their destination of choice, as long as their car is within their line of sight. It’s the perfect feature to use if you have an overflowing shopping cart, are dealing with a fussy child, or simply don’t want to walk to your car through the rain.”
Elon Musk, the mastermind behind the Tesla brand and experience, shared a tweet talking about the Smart Summon feature. When he unveiled it, the message was retweeted a staggering 550,000 times.
Tesla writes that it “adds both convenience to their trips and provides them with a unique moment of delight when their car picks them up to begin their journey.”
With problems galore, it seems that Elon Musk and his team of developers at Tesla need to get to work to iron out all the kinks. Unless they figure it out, no one will be using driverless cars in the near future. They might even have to take this feature off the market.
Would you trust a driverless car? Or are you still skeptical that these features could work?
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