Exciting technologies may prove expensive when they run into trouble, as a Tesla EV owner is about to find out. The car reported crashed into a $3.5 million private jet while being controlled by the Smart Summon feature.
As shown in a video posted on Reddit, the Tesla car slowly approached the jet and hit it while the driver tried to use Smart Summon to get the car to them. According to the poster, the incident occurred at an event in Felts Field, Spokane, Washington, sponsored by Cirrus, an aircraft maker.
The Tesla car then pushed the Cirrus Vision Jet across the tarmac.
Smart Summon lets Tesla owners make the car come to them from a parking position autonomously. The car will meander around obstacles at low speed. You can activate the feature through the Tesla smartphone app. However, the car must not be more than 200 feet away from the driver. It must also be within the driver’s line of sight.
The person who posted the video claimed they were not the owner of the car in question, although they own a Model Y. They pitied the “poor soul (with poor decision making abilities) who summoned his Tesla around several expensive aircraft – only to crash it into the most expensive one ($3,500,000)!”
Tesla released Smart Summon in 2019, and like any new feature released by the company, owners began filming their cars trying to navigate a maze of obstacles to reach them. Many of the cars appeared to move aimlessly as they dodged other vehicles and other impediments in their paths.
The summons was not always successful as some cars crashed into other vehicles or even brushed the side of a garage.
However, Tesla has updated the feature, which increased the range within which drivers can summon their cars and handle more complex situations. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has described the feature as the most viral yet by his company.
Tesla has referred to its cars as computers on wheels because of the many extra tech features that they offer. The company has been releasing updates that allegedly make the cars’ Full-Scale Driving feature more capable as it tries to achieve the highest level of vehicular autonomy. This has not been the success story Tesla prefers, as there have been reports of cars crashing into obstacles.
Musk has advocated that LIDAR, which most other auto companies offering autonomous driving use, is not needed. Tesla stopped using LIDAR, instead relying on a number of cameras to monitor the environment in real-time.