Elon Musk Says Tesla Has Regulatory Approval for Its ‘RC Car’ Summon Feature

​​​​​​​​The EV giant’s boss doesn’t specify just which regulatory agency gave the green light.

byRob Stumpf|
Electric Vehicles photo

In November, Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke of an upcoming feature, dubbed "Advanced Summon,” which would enable Tesla owners to have access to a feature that enables the remote piloting of their vehicles. On Tuesday, the CEO issued a statement via Twitter saying that the regulators had just approved the Advanced Summon feature and it was "almost ready" to roll out.

Advanced Summon will permit owners to pull out their smartphone, open the Tesla app, and pilot their Tesla out of a garage, tight parking space, or perform other low-speed ventures when Tesla's sensors cannot safely perform navigation or would otherwise require manual intervention. Eventually, Musk's long-term goal (within "two years") would be to summon a car from across the country. 

Though no hard-date for release has been set, we're not holding onto our seats in anticipation. When first announced, Musk said that the feature would be available roughly six weeks later, a period which has been eclipsed by a factor of two. Jan. 24 marks 12 weeks since the Advanced Summon was first publicized.

Timeline (and safety concerns of an unoccupied ginormous RC car) aside, the fact that Musk hasn't been clear about which regulatory body approved the functionality for road use is concerning.

Currently, there is no regulatory body which would appropriately regulate à la carte self-driving functionality in the United States. Even so, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which would be the logical choice for any U.S.-bound regulation approval surrounding automobiles, has limited operations due to the ongoing government shutdown and has not published any statement corroborating Musk's claim.

It is possible that Musk is referring to a regulation approval request from Transport Canada though, again, he does not specify the agency which gave the green light. At the time of writing, Tesla did not respond to The Drive's request for clarification on the matter.

The Drive also reached out to the NHTSA, Office of the Chief Council, and Transport Canada for comment but was unable to confirm the validity of Musk's statement.