A Tesla Model 3 owner put his vehicle’s Smart Summon capability to the test in a homemade obstacle course with cones.
YouTuber Kevin Rooke filmed his attempt to find out how the most polarizing feature of the latest V10 update worked. “First, I wanted to know how Smart Summon plans its route,” Rooke said. In this initial test, Rooke tested the maximum range of Smart Summon, 200 feet according to Tesla’s release notes regarding the feature. Rooke used the “COME TO ME” button for this test, and the Model 3 came to him with no issues, pulling up next to him successfully in a controlled fashion.
Test number two was comprised of the “GO TO TARGET” feature, where the user can pick a geographical location on their phone. The Tesla vehicle will travel to this location, given it is on the road and able to be reached in a safe manner. Rooke threw a wrench into this test and gave the Tesla a meetup location that was in a local river. The Tesla avoided this trap and managed to stay on the road and not into the body of water.
The next test required the vehicle to navigate through a number of safety cones that Rooke had set up to create a curved pathway leading to his location. Instead of navigating through the various cones, the vehicle instead decided to back up and avoid the course completely, realizing there was a simpler path to Rooke’s location.
The final two tests consisted of trapping the car within a confined perimeter, first with the cones used in the obstacle course path, and then with red solo cups. With the cones, the Tesla simply backed up and moved forward until it realized it was stuck. However, during one attempt, the vehicle ran over one of the cones and escaped the circle completely.
Rooke then placed red solo cups in a circle around the vehicle. These cups were around half of the size of the traffic cones Rooke utilized in the prior test. Rooke’s Model 3 did not recognize these as an obstacle, running over one of them and escaping the circle yet again. Rooke did not see this test as a failure, however. He noted, “I think that was probably the right decision. There’s always going to be this struggle to find a healthy balance of what the Tesla on Smart Summon should stop for, and what it should continue just driving through or driving over.”
The results of these tests gave Rooke the information he desired. “Tesla has been proving everyone wrong for a decade now, and I think the Smart Summon release, the fact that it got out so quickly, and they’ve already updated it, and they’re going to continue to update it, I think that just confirms Tesla is completely serious about doing Self Driving cars,” he said.
Smart Summon was released in September as part of the Tesla’s version 10 over-the-air software update. The feature has received several updates since its initial release, and its use in various environmental settings has been widely showcased across YouTube. Smart Summon recently rescued a family from a torrential downpour after driving to the entrance of a supermarket to pick up its owner and passengers.
Watch Kevin Rooke test the latest Tesla Smart Summon feature below.