Tesla’s Smart Summon Comes to the Rescue: A Remarkable Tale of Model 3 Liberation

Discover how Smart Summon turned a garage mishap into a tech triumph, showcasing Tesla's cutting-edge capabilities.

Tesla’s vehicles come with several unique features, including the option for the controversial Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta and the accompanying Smart Summon. Earlier this week, one Tesla owner managed an impressive use of Smart Summon after nearly locking his vehicle in a garage overnight.

X user @JackyHeshi had accidentally parked his Tesla Model 3 in a garage that closed at 10:00 p.m. on Friday night, leaving him unable to access it when arriving later in the evening. Fortunately, Heshi was able to use Smart Summon from outside the locked garage to get his Model 3 to come to him, triggering the sensor to open the garage door from the inside.

Heshi posted the account on X early Saturday morning, along with footage from the Model 3’s external cameras. You can see the thread below.

The videos show one of the more interesting uses of the Summon and Smart Summon features that have been captured yet. Many users have noted the Smart Summon feature’s clunkiness when used in parking lots, so continual improvements to the system have been necessary.

As Tesla writes in its owner’s manuals, Summon allows vehicles to move up to 39 feet into or out of parking spaces. Drivers can use the Tesla app while standing outside the vehicle to move it forward or in reverse as it parks or unparks itself. Alternatively, Smart Summon lets the vehicle move longer distances of up to approximately 213 feet while avoiding obstacles and without owners manually propelling the car forward and in reverse.

Tesla also includes warnings in its owner’s manuals noting that Smart Summon is a beta feature and should only be used under supervision and in parking lots, driveways, or private property “where the surrounding area is familiar and predictable.”

As Tesla also points out in its owner’s manuals, Smart Summon “may be temporarily limited or inactive until it is enabled with a future software update for vehicles manufactured as of approximately October 2022.”

This is due to the automaker removing radar-based Ultrasonic Sensors in its builds over the past couple of years, instead opting for its camera-based Autopilot system dubbed “Tesla Vision.” The automaker says the features will be unavailable “for a short period of time during this transition” in a note penned about the transition.

Earlier this month, Tesla made its autosteer on city streets feature available in the FSD beta after it had been listed as “coming soon” for several months on the company’s order configurators. The automaker also dropped the price of the FSD add-on from $15,000 to $12,000.

The automaker is currently allowing one-time transfers of the FSD beta from one Tesla vehicle to another without owners being forced to pay for the upgrade again. Transfer of the FSD beta would include access to Smart Summon and other FSD features such as autosteer on city streets. Customers can transfer the FSD beta system between vehicles for the remainder of the third quarter — or until the end of this month.

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