In any other situation, and not long ago, you would watch something like this and believe it was a piece of science fiction or a sophisticated remote control system trying to fool you into thinking Herbie got a different body. But this is 2019, replicants still do not exist – not that we are aware of – and Tesla is using beta testers to sharpen its Summon feature. Not Advanced Summon, not Tesla Summon Mode: Smart Summon, now. And Kim, from the "Like Tesla" YouTube channel, shot a video showing how it works.
If you do not get amazed by it, that’s probably because you work at Tesla. Or because you simply don’t care, like the people around the Model 3 that did not even realize it was not being driven by anyone. At all.
Kim makes three tests with a Tesla Model 3 to evaluate how accurate and fast the summon function – whatever Tesla decides to call it – really is. It is not allowed to move faster than 4 mph (6.4 km/h), so you will not see it speeding through the parking lot.
Anyway, it is a technology wonder to witness. And not as a company stunt, but rather as a test performed by a common client.
Just think it through: when Tesla believes these tests are enough, the company will offer the Smart Summon in wide release. For anyone that has bought a car that is prepared to offer this feature. In a matter of weeks.
Will it be legal everywhere? Which states and countries will allow Tesla owners to use it? Will that be the “appreciating asset” turning point for Tesla cars or only the Level 5 full autonomy will make that happen?
While we wait for these questions to have answers, the video makes us pose one more. When the Smart Summon mode seems to deactivate in the video above. Shouldn’t the car just keep going instead of halting in the middle of the path? Watch the video and share with us your impressions on this episode. And on everything else.