Tesla’s Smart Summon feature ‘glitchy’

Early reports suggest feature is ‘work in progress’

Tesla’s new self-driving feature has been criticised by US magazine Consumer Reports for being ‘glitchy’ and ‘confused’.

Smart Summon, which was launched on September 26, allows owners to instruct the car to come to them using their smartphone. Tesla claims 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”.

However, instead of coming to heel like a loyal dog, the Tesla Model 3 may need obedience classes.

Consumer Reports tested the feature over several days and found the system works “intermittently, depending on the car’s reading of the surroundings”. When it did work, the Model 3 took a long time to reach its driver, as it moved so slowly.

Their findings have been backed up by customers, who posted videos on social media of the car misbehaving and in some cases causing minor accidents.

Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports senior director of auto testing, says the car is still a “work in progress” and that Tesla customers are essentially being used as guinea-pigs: “What consumers are really getting is the chance to participate in a kind of science experiment,” he said.

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The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking into accidents where drivers have tried to use the Smart Summon feature in public parking lots.

Tesla has not yet responded to questions from Consumer Reports.

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