Sometimes the future needs a little adjusting when it arrives. In Tesla’s case, the automaker said it had made changes to its self-parking “summon” function, after Consumer Reports magazine flagged the feature as being potentially hazardous.
Tesla added “summon,” which drivers can turn on from the Tesla app, to its Model S and Model X last month. Using their key fob, drivers within a 10-foot range could have the car drive itself to them or move in or out of a parking space without anyone in the car. Sensors alerted the car to any obstacles or other objects in its way.
But when Consumer Reports tested the feature, they found that the sensors sometimes failed to notice items — even big ones like bikes and gym bags. If the driver is nearby and paying attention, that wouldn’t necessarily be a deal-breaker — they could just stop the car in its tracks with the tap of a button (or by touching the door handle). But if they happened to drop the key fob and couldn;t push the button in time, the car would keep right on truckin’ as far as 33 feet.
To address this problem, Tesla disabled the summon feature via key fob. Instead, drivers must use the app, which only works if the driver keeps their finger on the button while the self-driving feature is activated, according to CNN.