A Tesla driving itself with Smart Summon got into an accident after less than a day, and it was caught on camera

With Elon Musk often saying that Tesla vehicles are the only cars that get better after they leave the lot, Tesla a few days ago rolled out a software update with a ton of new and intriguing features. Indeed, Tesla in a blog post boasts that Software Version 10.0 represents the biggest software update the company has ever released.

While many of the new features seem to be entertainment-oriented — with new Karaoke and Arcade modes being two prime examples — the software update also includes a Smart Summon feature. As the name implies, Smart Summon enables Tesla owners to summon their vehicles in parking lots. In short, instead of walking to your car, Smart Summon will have your car drive to you.

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Tesla’s description of the feature reads in part:

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. Customers who have had early access to Smart Summon have told us 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.

It all sounds cool and simple enough, but in a scenario that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, Tesla owners quickly began testing the feature in ways that border on downright idiotic. If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because we saw something similar when Tesla first flipped the switch on its Autopilot feature and some Tesla owners decided it might be fun to literally sit in the backseat as their car drove down a busy road.

What’s more, some owners are finding that the feature doesn’t exactly work as intended insofar that there have already been some collisions as evidenced by the video below.

Soday 1 with V10 Smart Summon was working beautifully. But someone didn’t notice my M3 and made a front bumper damage. We will claim our insurances but who’s fault do you guys think it’ll be ? Should I present this videos ? @teslaownersSV @Model3Owners @LikeTeslaKim @TesLatino pic.twitter.com/fhSA78oD6C

— David F Guajardo (@DavidFe83802184) September 28, 2019

This video shows a near collision as a Tesla owner curiously attempted to summon his car from one parking lot to another.

So, @elonmusk – My first test of Smart Summon didn't go so well. @Tesla #Tesla #Model3 pic.twitter.com/yC1oBWdq1I

— Roddie Hasan – راضي (@eiddor) September 28, 2019

Meanwhile, another Tesla owner incurred some damage on an empty driveway, of all places.

Be forewarned @Tesla @elonmusk Enhanced summon isn’t safe or production ready. Tried in my empty drive way. Car went forward and ran into the side of garage. Love the car but saddened. #Tesla #TeslaModel3 pic.twitter.com/tRZ88DmXAW

— AB (@abgoswami) September 28, 2019

Tesla M3 Smart Summon in parking lot. Good samaritan runs after car saying “Nobody’s inside!!” He’s not wrong!  @Tesla @MFrunker @elonmusk @Teslarati @TechCrunch @TeslaRoadTrip @TeslaArmy @TeslaModel3News @evannex_com @TeslaMafia @TeslaElites pic.twitter.com/jNci4yNFga

— vandyish (@vandyish) September 28, 2019

And of course, because Tesla owners are a special breed, this one owner tried to run his own test to see if a Tesla in Smart Summon mode would stop for a pedestrian. In doing so, his Tesla almost ran over his foot.

All of this begs the question: Is Smart Summon even necessary? Is walking to your car in a parking lot really that much of an inconvenience? Truth be told, and as others on Twitter have pointed out, it’s arguably fair to say that the only use-case where Smart Summon is truly necessary is when the weather is truly abysmal, as illustrated below.

@Tesla @elonmusk you’ve ruined every other car on the planet for me, and especially my children who are any where from 2 to 10 years away from driving. pic.twitter.com/E4MS4WekP9

— Shareef Yousef (@shareef777) September 28, 2019

All that said, there are of course a handful of videos which show the Smart Summon feature working as designed, albeit in conditions where walking to a parked car would be perfectly do-able.

Incidentally, Musk a few days ago said that “Summon is improving rapidly.”