Watch a Pair of Tesla Model 3s Drive Themselves to Their Owners Via New 'Enhanced Summon'
Enhanced Summon is Tesla's newest over-the-air update for drivers with Autopilot's 'Full Self-Driving' software.
Tesla has recently begun rolling out early access to one of the most highly anticipated features in its Autopilot Full Self-Driving software suite. Coined "Enhanced Summon," the feature enables Tesla vehicles to maneuver through a parking lot and locate the owner of the vehicle without a driver behind the wheel.
Two videos have emerged this week of Tesla owners trialing the avant-garde feature in parking lots. A Model 3 in the video below can be seen exiting a parking space and slowly driving to the owner with their app open, waiting for the car to pull up alongside them.
Tesla's vehicles equipped with Autopilot have had Summon mode for quite some time, enabling owners to move their car in forward and reverse for brief periods of time. Tesla clarifies that Enhanced Summon is “a parking assist feature that helps you bring your car towards you or towards the destination of your choice by navigating out of parking spaces and maneuvering around objects as necessary.”
Presently, the testing of Enhanced Summon limits the vehicle to about three miles per hour—a common complaint brought up in the YouTube comments. Another owner tested the feature in his white Model 3 that slowly turns and creeps in a parking lot, carefully navigating around a concrete island.
While Enhanced Summon is far from any form of road-going autonomy, it shows Tesla making an attempt to bring its Autopilot suite to feature completeness by the end of 2019. There are still plenty of hurdles which the software must overcome, especially in the eyes of critics and safety regulators. However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims that Tesla's Advanced Driver Assistance System is much more precocious that the public knows.
"With the release of Enhanced or Advanced Summon, you'll see the first indications of the car being able to navigate complex parking lots," said Musk on a Tesla quarterly earnings call. He later continued, "When will we think it's safe for full self-driving? It's probably toward the end of this year, and then it's up to regulators to decide when they want to approve that."
Musk has previously described Enhanced Summon akin to driving a "big RC car," allowing owners to have their cars follow them around in a parking lot as they walked. As of now, owners can summon their cars to them so long as they are within 150 feet of the vehicle's location by either using their phone's GPS or by dropping a pin where the owner wants the car to park.