Tesla Rolls Out Smart Summon Feature

HT/ozspeaksup and zerohedge

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Keith Rowe
October 2, 2019 10:03 pm

This shows the quality of their AI driving. Doesn’t bode well for their valuation when a large part of it is their supposed lead in AI. It’s kinda embarrassing.

Reply to  Keith Rowe
October 3, 2019 5:58 am

Embarrassing, how about the lazy asses that don’t want to walk 100 feet?

John Endicott
Reply to  Scissor
October 3, 2019 6:22 am

lazy asses that don’t want to walk 100 feet clearly don’t embarrass easy, if they did than they wouldn’t be such lazy asses to begin with.

Reply to  Scissor
October 4, 2019 9:00 am

One also needs to consider the benefits for aging folks or those who are handicapped and walking long distances is difficult.
As I age, I am beginning to see the potential benefits of a self driving car and one that would self park or pick you up. Not there yet though to buy one such car.
This issue already limits where I elect to go even with a handicap placard since there seems to be an abuse of this privilege.

Bryan A
Reply to  Keith Rowe
October 3, 2019 7:01 am

It also speaks to the AI (Actual Intelligence) of their owners.

October 2, 2019 10:48 pm

Ever notice many Tesla drivers are aggressive and even reckless in traffic? They like to show off how well the car accelerates. Of course there’s considerable virtue signaling in owning one. “Look at me!”

Reply to  brians356
October 3, 2019 4:07 am

Like the drivers of early Prius (Pious) cars.

Reply to  brians356
October 3, 2019 5:38 am

You mean, they drive just like people who drive gasoline powered muscle cars? Oh my, I’m having the vapors over that fact.


Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 8:10 am

loudly laughing out loud at your own statement….

Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 9:16 am

Gasoline vapors….

John Endicott
Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 11:01 am

well perhaps if you’d stop sniffing vapors….. 😉

Reply to  brians356
October 3, 2019 7:19 am

I’ve NEVER seen one accelerate to show off on the freeway. I suspect it crashes the battery far too fast to be worth the insanity of actually using insane mode. Nope, I just cruise right past them at a silky smooth 80mph in my fine Bavarian automobile.

Reply to  Kenji
October 3, 2019 8:54 am

I’ve seen Teslas on the road three times (or maybe the same one three times, because there can’t be many in or around a city that hits -40 in the winter). Every time they’ve been driving below the speed limit, presumably to save battery power.

As for these ‘AI’ failures, it doesn’t surprise me. These are horrendously difficult problems to solve. Following a highway in good weather conditions with light traffic is one thing, driving around a parking lot is quite another.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkG
October 3, 2019 9:27 am

There’s two different things here: 1) acceleration 2) driving at speed. EVs have very good acceleration (0-60) that does not necessarily equate to being good for high speeds. It’s possible for an EV sitting next to a ICE sports car at a stop light to blew the doors off the sports car in acceleration when the light turns green, but a short distance down the road later and the ICE sports car will be blowing past the EV at top speed.

Reply to  John Endicott
October 3, 2019 1:09 pm

I reported on these pages some months ago being behind a Tesla Model S at a traffic light. Me in my Shelby GT350. Light turned green, Tesla was GONE! Like a space ship in a movie warping out.

I rationalized it was “point and shoot,” that my car was more FUN. And I could beat him to Columbia, easily.

Joel O'Bryan
October 2, 2019 10:49 pm

Tesla is toast.
The company will be bankrupt or bought out for pennies/$ value in a few years.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 3, 2019 5:35 am

Largest manufacturer of electric vehicles in the world. 45,000 employees. $21.5B in revenue last year, with $1B in profit.

That’s your definition of “toast”?


I get it that there is a built in tribe of Tesla haters here at WUWT, but it’s silly and stupid and counterproductive to hate on Tesla. They are a success, and likely will continue to be a success for many years and decades to come. You are denying reality.

John Endicott
Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 6:12 am

$1B in profit? I think you missed the “-” sign that goes in front of that number. LOLOLOLOLOL.

they’ve been in the red every year for the past several years:

last year, while they had a gross income of 4B, their NET income was (976.09M) – the parenthesis around the number denotes a negative number. so that’s -976.09M.

Reply to  John Endicott
October 3, 2019 6:18 am

OK, so I erred on that .. correct on everything else.

Hating on Tesla is also a fool’s errand.

btw – Amazon was criticized for not making a profit for literally decades … now they are highly profitable (over $10B in profit last year) and the second largest retailer on the planet, behind only Walmart. And dominating not just book sales, but sales of literally everything that can be bought.

Tesla is headed in the same direction as Amazon.

John Endicott
Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 6:26 am

That’s certainly Elon’s hope. Whether that becomes reality or not remains to be seen.

Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 6:34 am

Haters? No!

Just practical rational commenters.

I’m horrified that a car is released with buggy self operating software. That shows the lack of concern and sincerity at Tesla.

Tesla operating at massive losses for decades? That’s not capitalism, that a scam.

John Endicott
Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 6:38 am

OK, so I erred on that .. correct on everything else

yeah, not so much. You claimed Tesla was the “Largest manufacturer of electric vehicles in the world”, not according to Bloomberg


that article, from earlier this year, gives that honor to BYD

Look I get you love Tesla, but don’t let that blind you to the reality. ” it’s silly and stupid and counterproductive to” blindly love on Tesla.

Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 7:02 am

The difference between making a billion a year and losing a billion year is not just a simple typo.
It goes to the core of the argument as to how much longer Tesla can survive.

John Endicott
Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 7:10 am

btw – Amazon was criticized for not making a profit for literally decades … now they are highly profitable (over $10B in profit last year) and the second largest retailer on the planet, behind only Walmart

Yeah, and amazon is literally the exception, not the rule. In the history of businesses the world over, most companies that spend that long in the red end up folding due to the crushing weight of their accumulated debt and/or simply running out of people with deep enough pockets willing to throw more good money after years of bad. And of the few who didn’t fold but did manage to go on to make a profit very few (I can only think of one: Amazon) go on to become anything more than a bit player in the market. So while it’s possible Tesla could eventually turn the tide and make a profit, I wouldn’t advise counting on it if I were you. I certainly wouldn’t count on Tesla then becoming the Amazon of it’s market.

John Endicott
Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 7:28 am

Tesla operating at massive losses for decades? That’s not capitalism, that a scam

I don’t know about decades (plural, indicating 2 or more) as they’ve only been in business for around 1 and a half. In a few more years though… 🙂

That aside, it’s not unusual for a company to spend many years running at a loss before making a profit (indeed very few start off with a profit). It takes time and money to 1) develop a solid product and 2) grow a market for that product. If every business had to turn a profit out of the gate, there would be very few businesses (and even fewer new and innovative products) and many of the ones you deal with on a daily basis simply wouldn’t exist.

That said, there does come a point when you go from normal early business losses to unusually long time in the red. I think Tesla has likely passed that point several years ago.

Oh, and BTW, amazon did not spend ” literally decades” in the red. they were founded in 1994, went public in 1997 and first made a profit in 2001 (4 years as a publicly traded entity, or 7 years total). Tesla has already been in the red for twice as long as Amazon’s 7 year stretch, with no sign of them getting out of the red any time soon.

Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 8:58 am

Amazon makes almost all its profit from ‘cloud’ services, renting out its servers to other companies. The retail business is a hobby on the side, and I increasingly see people saying they don’t buy much there any more since Amazon began filling search results with so many ads that it’s hard to find what you want to buy (and then you have to search further to find one that’s actually sold by Amazon rather than some random guy in China).

In ten years it will probably be a server farm and not much else.

Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 12:36 pm

Amazon doesn’t make products that will cause property damage and death. Personal Injury lawyers aren’t drooling over Amazon late sales arrivals.

Just look at what happened to Boeing when it rolled out an autonomous flight software package that wasn’t ready for primetime..
I doubt Tesla could absorb that hit.

William Astley
Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 1:54 pm

You and Ed are true believers. There are so many ways a company can fail.

Tesla has lost a $ 1 Billion dollars this year.

Service centers? Nope.
Unhappy customers: Yup.
Long term service problems: Yup.
Big established car company’s new competition for Tesla: Yup


The Model 3 has proven a costly car
Tesla’s already paid dearly for the Model 3. As Model 3 sales dropped and a too-low price point reduced its profits, the company lost a combined $1.11 billion in the first half of 2019. Tesla has cut costs aggressively, by shuttering stores, taking sales online, and reducing financial allocations to various divisions to boost cash flow.

It turned to public markets for capital, but the $2.4 billion Tesla raised may not be enough. That capital infusion wasn’t the “contingency buffer” Musk had said it would be. It was a last-ditch effort to counteract a burn rate that would level the company otherwise. according to a staff memo leaked to the EV news site Electrek.

Reply to  Duane
October 4, 2019 1:59 pm

Amazon started out well at $1.68/share when in 1997. The stock price rose exponentially for the next 21 years to hit around $1700/share. Since it started actually making money the stock price has averaged about the same, but highly volatile. Average quarterly profits have been as volatile as income. Profit in 2018 around $10B on revenue in of ~$232B. That’s close to the S&P 500 average, so Amazon has finally made it into the big leagues. Given it’s sales and their rapid growth it hasn’t made much money over the years. It’s been strictly a bet on potential future earnings, which aren’t at stratospheric as its revenue and stock price.

Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 6:26 am

Tesla lovers are fun to watch….from distance. I mean who else laughs and makes YouTube videos of their Tesla accidents in parking lots, wheel damage from potholes, and quality control problems on new ones.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
October 3, 2019 11:28 am

Tesla haters are hilarious to watch.. brain death in motion

Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 2:00 pm

I do not hate Teslas. They are things.
It’s inconsiderate and irresponsible people I detest.
I deplore the utter lack of responsibility displayed by Tesla in their mad rush to put dangerous product out into the general public.
The NTSB should put a screeching halt to any further Tesla autonomous control software releases.
We are not allowed to fly test aircraft around in public areas. All of that is done on test bases far from public harm.
The latest fiasco Boeing is enduring regarding releasing unproven and untested control software is testament to the idiocy being employed.

Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 4:16 pm

You really do let criticism of your idols get under your skin.
Pointing out the many flaws of Musk and Tesla is not the same thing as hatred.
Though most liberals are mentally incapable of figuring out the difference.

Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 7:01 am

Losing money hand over fist. Constant streams of bad publicity (such as the above article).
Yup, toast.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
October 3, 2019 7:35 am

Yeah, it’s not “being a hater” to point out the reality that the company is losing money year on year and constantly getting bad PR. and that those facts don’t bode well for the companies future. Tesla lovers: name a single company that has lost money as many consecutive years (over 15 and counting) as Tesla has (with or without the comparable bad publicity) that didn’t go bankrupt or wasn’t bought out on the cheap? I honestly can’t think of a single one (Amazon was in the red for less than half the time Tesla has been so far).

Reply to  MarkW
October 3, 2019 11:30 am

Because the whole wide world tunes into WUWT to get in on the latest Tesla hate? LOLOLOL

Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 4:20 pm

Why should the world tune into WUWT to get the latest on Tesla. The bad news is readily available on many news outlets.
As to your insistence that anyone who points out the flaws in your idol is a hater. Well just consider the source.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 5:38 pm

What exactly does LOLOLOL mean?
Are you laughing out loud out loud out loud?
One LOL a week is OK.
Every comment seems childish.
Adding a bunch of extra OL’s seems idiotic.
But it is Duane, so…

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
October 3, 2019 1:11 pm

Reports of their demise are grossly exaggerated.

Reply to  Gamecock
October 3, 2019 4:20 pm

Maybe premature, but not exaggerated.

John Endicott
Reply to  Gamecock
October 4, 2019 5:02 am

While they’re not dead yet, they’re not far from it. In addition to the sea of red ink year after year (never a healthy place for a company to be), they’ve got a potential massive liability with their AV roll-out. It’s clear the technology is not ready for prime time, should a body count start to grow from it and it can be shown in discovery that they didn’t properly test it/knew it wasn’t ready (or even just had doubts about it’s ready-ness) they could end up facing a huge, company-killing lawsuit award. Despite what the Tesla lovers might like to think, the future does not look rosy for Tesla.

October 2, 2019 10:53 pm

Won’t catch on:
1 there’ll be a fatality.
2 you’re a tool and comedians will make jokes about you.
3 it’ll be banned

Reply to  Warren
October 3, 2019 4:59 am

been enough fatalities and serious accidents already as well as self and owner included immolations
saves on funeral costs, looking on the bright side;-)

the pitiful reasons for a auto controlled car to come and collect you are pathetic and sad,
heavy shopping you didnt want to carry to the car
too fat n lazy ? to go back to where you parked it.
showing off
or a feeling of love?? when your car comes when called
unlike your kids dog or husband???

Reply to  ozspeaksup
October 3, 2019 7:27 am

Ha! Your list perfectly summarizes every Tesla owner I’ve ever encountered. And don’t forget the “early adopter” (I discovered that cool new band before you did) morons. Tesla is the Boeing 737 Max Jet of the well-heeled eco jet-set

Reply to  Kenji
October 3, 2019 8:23 am

I flew on a few 737 Max flight before they were grounded. Very nice planes. It will be good to see them back in the air (someday….).

michael hart
October 2, 2019 11:11 pm

People’s naive faith in computers is quite touching sometimes. This is what brings us climate models.

Reply to  michael hart
October 3, 2019 1:41 am

Humans are remarkably good drivers.

… autonomous vehicles must drive 275 million miles without a fatality to demonstrate a safety level comparable to human drivers. link

Autonomous cars won’t get bored, distracted, drunk, or emotional. On the other hand, they’re exhibiting quirks that make them much more dangerous than human drivers.

Keen Observer
Reply to  commieBob
October 3, 2019 7:30 am

They can, however, be interfered with beyond their ability to respond adequately.

A part of their danger is how fast they can act/react, compared to humans: they can make the wrong decision so quickly, that your head will spin, and spin, and spin, as it rolls down the street.

I wonder if the Tesla devs thought of adding the capability to react to a human reacting to what the Tesla does, or reacting to the same road hazard in a way that compromises the Tesla’s initial reactions?

Keen Observer
Reply to  michael hart
October 3, 2019 7:27 am

People’s naive faith in computers actually frightens me, but then, I work in software development.

Rod Evans
October 2, 2019 11:53 pm

Has anyone from TESLA tried to explain just what the purpose of this feature actually is?
Is it simply to save the driver walking across a car park to their car? Is there some special issue with walking a few yards back across the car park to your car? Having parked it and got out to walk somewhere, one would hope you retain sufficient energy reserves to be able to walk back across the lot…
Have TESLA tried to solve another problem that does not exist? Walking is good for you, it is what our evolution has perfected and made us very good at. Just as we don’t need to solve a none existing pollution problem called CO2 which TESLA are claiming they wish to help solve. Here they have gone one step backwards in attempting to solve that big “too much walking problem” that many people in western society suffer from….not.

Reply to  Rod Evans
October 3, 2019 4:24 am

The only use that I can think of is if there is inclement weather. It might be nice in a rain storm. Of course, an umbrella is much cheaper.

Bryan A
Reply to  Taynna
October 3, 2019 12:14 pm

Perhaps you are a woman alone at night and there is a Van parked next to your driver side door, instead of taking the chance trying to get in next to a dark van, you could have your car come to you.

Reply to  Bryan A
October 3, 2019 2:40 pm

Ha ha ha ha ha … what a bizarre scenario. You watch too many TV crime shows

Reply to  Bryan A
October 3, 2019 6:07 pm

That is what car alarms are for …and they don’t cause accidents or clog parking lots.

John Endicott
Reply to  Rod Evans
October 3, 2019 5:52 am

The purpose is Elon watched too many episodes of Knight Rider when he was a kid and wanted a car just like Kitt.
Joking aside, I could see the feature being useful for the elderly and the partially disabled for whom walking that distance isn’t as easy as it would be for able-bodied folks like you and I. But from all reports it has a long ways to go before it’s ready for prime time.

Reply to  John Endicott
October 3, 2019 7:05 am

It might be useful in really bad weather.

Reply to  MarkW
October 3, 2019 9:00 am

The worse the weather is, the less likely it is to work.

‘I’m sorry, Dave, I can’t do that. There’s snow on my sensors.’

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  John Endicott
October 3, 2019 7:53 am

“Joking aside, I could see the feature being useful for the elderly and the partially disabled for whom walking that distance isn’t as easy . . .”

Uhhh . . . that works only one way. Or did I miss the fact that Tesla also has an Auto Drop-Off-and- Park-the-Car feature.

John Endicott
Reply to  Gordon Dressler
October 3, 2019 8:13 am

If you are an elderly person, for example, with a cane or walker, walking 200 feet to/from your car is a lot harder (but not necessarily impossible) than walking the inches to a foot or two from the curb to your just arrived car. So being able to avoid that walk when and where possible is a benefit, even if it’s only “one-way”. Indeed being “one-way” isn’t the hurdle you think it is, particularly when you consider that arriving they’re not also burdened with their the purchases whereas returning to the car they’re likely also lugging around their just purchased items (meaning the two trips are not necessarily equal in their difficulty)

And, btw, if the auto-summons/auto-drive features actually worked, it wouldn’t be that hard for TESLA to then “reverse” it and create a “park the car” feature as well. It’s just the flip side of the coin after all.

Reply to  John Endicott
October 3, 2019 8:31 am

This is a rare corner case, and those people can park in the handicap stalls. The feature is strictly for the Cool factor.

John Endicott
Reply to  John Endicott
October 3, 2019 9:31 am

Indeed, as I said I can see it being useful in those “corner cases”, that doesn’t mean it has much utility beyond such cases (outside, as you say, the cool factor). And as it doesn’t seem to be working too well, even the cool factor is failing it.

John Endicott
Reply to  John Endicott
October 3, 2019 9:42 am

And while “those people can park in the handicap stalls” (assuming they’ve purchased the handicapped sticker/seal/marker/whatever it’s called for their car) it can still be some distance from the nearest handicapped parking spot to the front door of the store depending on the layout and size of the parking lot (and that’s assuming the nearest handicapped spot(s) aren’t already occupied). For someone in that situation, every little bit helps. (and yes, we are talking a very small percentage of the total market, or “corner case” as you call it)

John Endicott
Reply to  Gordon Dressler
October 3, 2019 8:24 am

Actually, just looked it up an auto-park is a feature Elon plans to roll out by year end (according to the LA times
“And Musk is aiming to release a self-parking feature by the end of the year. ”

Of course if its anywhere as good as the auto-summons, I wouldn’t want to own any of the cars near where an auto-parking Tesla decides to park .

Reply to  John Endicott
October 3, 2019 10:30 am

It would be a boon for issuers of parking-tickets. I somehow doubt that the car can read the signs and pay for the parking.

Someday all parking lots everywhere will have cameras that note the registration numbers of entering and leaving cars and send the bill to the right person, until then, not so good. And even at sites that already have that today you often get a warning that you have to register manually in bad weather.

Reply to  Rod Evans
October 3, 2019 6:23 am

Ever forgotten where your car is parked at the mall or the airport or a big event?

Ever been a female worried that going alone to where her car is parked in a big parking lot or garage is an invitation to rapists?

Just a few years ago, people would ask, “why on earth would I ever need automatic breaking?” Or lane protection. Yet thousands of lives have been saved, and accidents prevented, and now virtually all the car manufacturers are offering this as at least an option, if not standard equipment.

I remember when people asked “why on earth would I ever need a seat belt? They will just keep me from escaping a burning car.”

ditto on air bags

ditto on smart phones.

“What on earth is an “app” and why would I ever need one?”

John Endicott
Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 6:44 am

Ever forgotten where your car is parked at the mall or the airport or a big event?

using the feature when you don’t know where your car is goes against Tesla’s own instructions for use of the feature.:
The company told its users to use the feature only if they’re standing around 200 feet from the vehicle and have a clear line of sight.

Reply to  John Endicott
October 3, 2019 5:52 pm

“Ever forgotten where your car is parked at the mall or the airport or a big event?”

If that was actually the problem to be solved a “Dude where’s my car?” feature in the app would probably be cheaper, safer, and faster than Summon.

Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 7:07 am

Let me see if I understand the gist of your argument.
Mandatory seat belts was a good idea, therefore auto-summon is a good idea.

John Endicott
Reply to  MarkW
October 3, 2019 7:50 am

Heh, yeah. it’s sophistry on his part. What he leaves out is that when people asked “why would I need” for those other things there were usually good, readily available answers (being in the car is generally a lot safer than being tossed out of the car in an accident, for example). There is no good answer why you would need an auto-summons that is as buggy as the one in those videos. No lives will be saved from an auto-summon that’s more likely to run over a pedestrian than drive in a straight line.

Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 7:07 am

If I can’t find my car, I usually just hit the lock button on the remote and listen for the beep.

Reply to  MarkW
October 3, 2019 2:56 pm

Yep. Works for me. And parenthetically … if you’ve LOST your car … you’re probably too drunk, or too senile to be driving. Better to catch an Uber.

Reply to  kenji
October 3, 2019 4:24 pm

There are times when I just can’t remember whether I parked in row 3 or row 4.

Reply to  kenji
October 3, 2019 4:26 pm

Also the fact that I drive a small car and some days it seems like 90% of the cars in the lot are either big pick ups, vans or SUVs.

Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 7:32 am

Well Duane (Tesla fan boi) … now the frightened female will have the time to get raped BEFORE her car actually shows up to “rescue” her. And then … the rapist will get her $$$$$ expensive Tesla too!! Hope you aren’t employed in “Tech Security” programming.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 9:35 am

Duane, perhaps it would help if I told you (in my opinion anyway) that there are two types of high technology: The kind that works and makes life better and easier, and the kind that doesn’t.

Yes, there have been many technologies developed over the years that have enhanced the quality of life. The ones (and especially the costly ones) that don’t do that are the ones will likely create criticism here at WUWT and elsewhere. Wind turbines and solar panels are two examples of the latter.

Judging from the videos, the time it takes for that Tesla Summons feature to get the car to me renders it useless when I could very likely walk to the car myself in that time frame (probably less)–and doing the latter won’t cost me one red cent.

And one last thing. The process you go through to stop a car is spelled b-r-a-k-i-n-g, not breaking.

Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 9:40 am

“why on earth would I ever need automatic breaking?”

tesla has you covered then……

John Endicott
Reply to  dmacleo
October 3, 2019 9:54 am

Heh, yeah Tesla’s got the automatic breaking thing down pat. 🙂

Reply to  John Endicott
October 3, 2019 4:27 pm

Right up there with the self-immolation feature.

John Endicott
Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 9:52 am

Ever been a female worried that going alone to where her car is parked in a big parking lot or garage is an invitation to rapists?

she still has to go to the parking lot/garage to summon her car (“200 feet from the vehicle and have a clear line of sight” remember?) only now she’s just idly standing there waiting for her car rather than moving about. A standing target is a lot easy to take than a moving one.

Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 10:34 am

If you are reasonably close to your car use the remote unlock/lock feature. At least my car blinks its lights when you do that. Very useful – and safe.

Reply to  Duane
October 3, 2019 6:18 pm

“Have I ever forgotten where I parked?” No, not since I did it the first time.

How about an app that showed you a map of the parking lot and where you parked?
If your car can come to find you, your car it should know where it is. Like find my phone.

The app is far too dangerous. Park-my-car will be very expensive. Who pays for all the damage, Tesla or the owners?

Reply to  Rod Evans
October 3, 2019 10:51 am

The problem being solved is Tesla’s stock price and need to borrow.
Tesla loses enormous money, so it is vital that they keep up the hype – which in turn elevates their stock price – which in turn allows them to keep borrowing money to stay alive.
The key takeaway from these videos is that the owners aren’t hating Tesla despite personal evidence that Tesla releases unsafe/unready features that literally damage their owner’s wallets, and possibly more.

Reply to  c1ue
October 3, 2019 2:38 pm

Tesla owners are not hating their FAILED Tesla … because they are true-believers who would NEVER admit they made a HUGE, costly, error by purchasing a Tesla. The 5-year cost of ownership is off the charts with massive depreciation, massive insurance costs, and VERY expensive electricity here in California.


Huh!? Imagine that … no data for cost of ownership from Edmunds. Trust me, that’s intentional … because the TRUTH would be devastating. Best to just allow the Tesla owners to convince themselves they’ve done “something good” for the planet. No they haven’t. They’ve done far more to fu the planet than my “conservation” of a 1991 bmw 325i that is my daily driver. No heavy metals mining, rare earth mining, no more manufacturing, etc. You want to help the planet? DO NOT BUY a new pile of toxic electronic waste … but conserve what has already been built.

October 3, 2019 12:52 am

Why is that complete tool testing in a crowded carpark?

slow to follow
Reply to  yarpos
October 3, 2019 2:26 am

Surely because it is real world environment? Where should one test it?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  slow to follow
October 3, 2019 3:19 am

Like climate models, in a simulation of course. Who needs a real world?

Reply to  slow to follow
October 3, 2019 3:28 am

If they really trusted it, maybe the parking lot at the Tesla facility?

John Endicott
Reply to  Spetzer86
October 3, 2019 6:24 am


John Endicott
Reply to  slow to follow
October 3, 2019 6:21 am

You don’t do initial testing in the real world environment. First you test in controlled conditions (a lab or other test facility). Only when you are confident you’ve worked out as many bugs as you can under conditions you control do you then proceed to testing in an environment that you have less control over and work your way up to an environment that you have no control over. I should think real-world crowded carpark would be at the very end of the testing process, when the product should be working with as few bugs as possible (IE much more ready than in those videos)

October 3, 2019 1:09 am

I’m honesty surprised they thought this was a good idea. A busy parking lot is one of the most chaotic environments a car can be in. People WILL try to squeeze around your car if you take more then a few seconds to pull out of your parking space. Pedestrians walking between cars, or down the middle of the lanes. People passing on the wrong side of the lane to get around you. It can be nuts.

There’s no way auto driving cars are ready for all that yet. I doubt they will be for decades. As bad as these vids make it look, you’ve only got one Tesla trying to drive itself through a parking lot. Go back and watch those vids and this time image a half dozen others trying to do the same thing at the same time. It’d be gridlock in seconds.

Reply to  Schitzree
October 3, 2019 7:09 am

The auto drive function is still a few decades away from ready for the real world, but they rolled that one out as well.

Reply to  MarkW
October 3, 2019 9:23 am

Wind/Solar/Batteries/Tesla – all are classic examples of commercializing products before they are market ready. One can add most drugs to the list. They all would have been good examples for the economic development courses I used to teach.

Greg Cavanagh
Reply to  MarkW
October 3, 2019 5:22 pm

I hope no one uses it when picking up the kids from a school carpark. Or beach, or park, or sporting event, or anywhere else for that matter.

Reply to  Schitzree
October 3, 2019 7:38 am

I second that. Many times I have spotted someone (in a car,walking, pushing a cart), and decided to wait to see what they were planning to do. Compound that with the fact that the majority of drivers don’t use turn indicators here. Quite often it was something I did not expect, and would have created a problem.

John Endicott
Reply to  Schitzree
October 3, 2019 8:03 am

I’m honesty surprised they thought this was a good idea. A busy parking lot is one of the most chaotic environments a car can be in

indeed, as I said elsewhere in this thread, testing in a crowded parking lot (an chaotic environment that you have no control over) would be the last stage of testing. The fact that it performs so badly shows that TESLA skipped over many of the earlier stages, if they even tested it at all.

Bill Toland
October 3, 2019 1:14 am

The headline should be Tesla rolls out smart summon feature for people who are too dumb to walk to their parked cars.
Seriously, how did Tesla get permission to roll out this feature?

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Bill Toland
October 5, 2019 9:07 pm

Did they ask for permission?

October 3, 2019 1:22 am

Accio Tesla! Accio Tesla!

Carl Friis-Hansen
October 3, 2019 1:25 am

There are some legal interesting aspects too.
In the following video a man is testing Smart Summon in a nearly empty parking lot. The Tesla ran a full stop and got stopped by the police. The tester explained the situation to the officer. The officer did not give any ticket to neither Tesla nor driver. But, how will future legislation be?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
October 3, 2019 1:50 am

Maybe no driver, but reg plates and all will see a fine delivered to the “registered” owner.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
October 3, 2019 5:13 am

The term “register” is a concatenation of 2 latin words:

1. Regis – Crown
2. Ster – (Sterea) – away from, out of

So who owns your car now? The State you “registered” it to. That State will then use its value that you purchased it for to add to their coffers for trading with other states, then also charge you “stamp duty” (tax) for the privilege of the transaction, the registration fee and every year more fees etc. Congrats, you’re now just the ripped-off “registered keeper”, but if you flout enough of their rules, they’ll crush it for you, because they have the right as it’s no longer your private property, which should be obvious by now as they have the right to attach their “ID numbers” to it. Justr try and remove them without a fight.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  ЯΞ√ΩLUT↑☼N
October 3, 2019 8:37 am

In the US maybe. Australia, no!

John Endicott
Reply to  Patrick MJD
October 3, 2019 11:14 am

I don’t recognize most of his description as applying to the US either. However of the few parts that I do recognize, it seems to me would be applicable to both countries.

Our motor vehicles are required by law to be registered before being allowed on the roads, as far as I’m aware the same holds true of Australia.
We have registration plates (“ID numbers”) on our cars and as far as I’m aware the same holds true of Australia
We have registration certificates (we just call it a registration), as far as I’m aware the same holds true of Australia
In most states here, Registration must be renewed annually, with the payment of a fee, as far as I’m aware the same holds true of Australia.

So once you ignore the feldercarb of what he posted, how is Australia any different to the US in regards to car registration?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
October 3, 2019 7:03 am

That’s not staged at all, no siree! The cop gets out and doesn’t even look at two guys standing near his car? Really?

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
October 3, 2019 8:15 am

1) In the very first part of the video (the summons testing in the gym parking lot), the Tesla runs the stop sign, but law enforcement is not around to pull the car over for that infraction.
2) In the later part, the commentator tells the police officer “I wasn’t driving the car.” That is false: he was in fact operating the vehicle, just doing it remotely. Notice the number of times earlier in the video he states that he either had to let off on the summons button to stop the car, or to hold down the summons button to keep the car doing its “Auto” thing.

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
October 3, 2019 3:55 pm

Surely the person controlling the vehicle should be liable for what the car does. After-all the ‘driver’ holding the remote is (ultimately) controlling the vehicle.
If the software is not good enough to ‘driving’ the vehicle safely (even in an empty parking lot) then the driver should sue Tesla to recoup any losses incurred. However Tesla could argue “The company told its users to use the feature only if they’re standing around 200 feet from the vehicle and have a clear line of sight. ” means they are legally in the clear.

Tesla ‘Smart Summon’, the lawyers will love it!

Patrick MJD
October 3, 2019 1:52 am

More Tesla gimmicks people will just wet themselves for. How much does a typical Tesla weigh? Over 2 tonnes? Yeah, try stopping that in a hurry when you are not in the car and NOT in control!


October 3, 2019 2:19 am

The other big problem is the slowness of computer driving. I read report where the google cars are being tested and they totally slow everybody down. For example they wait at a clear 4 way stop for a minute before proceeding. Imagine these cars in nyc, it will be total gridlock all day, as if gridlock wasn’t bad enough already.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Stevek
October 3, 2019 2:41 am

Stevek, I think gridlock is what the Greens are hoping for they do not want people to have the freedom to move about. Making systems so inefficient that driving around becomes too painful to even contemplate is exactly what the AOC and other Green anarchists want.

Reply to  Rod Evans
October 3, 2019 3:16 am

I never thought of that. It is good point, a backdoor way to remove our freedoms.

Reply to  Stevek
October 3, 2019 7:38 am

Every FOOL I encounter driving 60mph in the passing lane is considered an eco-terrorist. Every driver who leaves 10 car lengths in front of them in 20mph bumper-to-bumper Traffic is an eco-terrorist. Both acts serve to plug up our roadways and intensify traffic and endanger lives.

Reply to  Kenji
October 3, 2019 8:25 am

everybody that drives slower than me is an idiot … everybody that passes me is a maniac.

(And everybody that drives so close to the guy in front of him (on the two lane highway) that I have pass two cars, instead of just one at a time, is an ignorant/pushy ahole.)

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Kenji
October 3, 2019 8:40 am

Actually, leaving more room in, so called bumper to bumper traffic, allows for better traffic flow because you are not constantly applying brakes.

Reply to  Kenji
October 3, 2019 10:35 am


Studies show that taking off slow and braking early in heavy traffic increases the overall length of time “rush hour” traffic lasts, that includes traffic jams from whatever cause. This behavior is the only way you can end up with that kind of gap between cars in heavy traffic.

I’ve also read where this driving philosophy leads to more accidents because drivers get impatient/angry with cautious drivers and so take risks that they shouldn’t of just to get around them. It’s one of those interesting debates to me, whose at fault in an accident? The person who is obvious at fault, i.e. passing on the right to get around a left lane camper. Or the person camping out in left hand land and not moving to the right when there’s room to.

Bryan A
Reply to  Kenji
October 3, 2019 12:24 pm


October 3, 2019 at 8:25 am

everybody that drives slower than me is an idiot … everybody that passes me is a maniac.

(And everybody that drives so close to the guy in front of him (on the two lane highway) that I have pass two cars, instead of just one at a time, is an ignorant/pushy ahole.)

Eternity– Length of time between that which the signal light turns green and the idiot in front of you realizes it.
Split-Second– Length of time between that which the signal light turns green and the Butthead behind you starts honking

Reply to  Kenji
October 3, 2019 2:54 pm

Now tell me what the FOOL, who leaves 10 car lengths in front of him, does to traffic when he rides his brakes as well? Because THAT is the typical scenario. And what of the FOOLS who are reading an ebook or watching a video whilst leaving the 10 car lengths because that is “safer” for them?

The fact is start-stop braking does slow traffic, but spacing cars further and further apart when the roads need to handle maximum traffic is horribly inefficient and causes traffic jams. Maximum efficiency would be traveling at a constant rate of speed, at a SAFE (not ridiculously long) distance between cars. The limited number of lanes (thank you anti-car, Gov. Jerry Brown) need to absorb as many cars as possible without WASTED space between the automobiles.

What is safe and efficient? 1. Learn how to drive properly i.e. stop tapping tapping tapping your brakes unnecessarily … it causes a cascade reaction of more unnecessary braking. 2. Pay Attention! If you are actively DRIVING your automobile in heavy traffic, you can follow the car ahead of you -safely- MUCH CLOSER than what I witness on the fwy’s. But 70% of the drivers aren’t paying attention … they’re “multi-tasking” in their cars … and leaving LOTS of space in front of them for … *cough* … “safety”. Wanna be safe? Pay f’g attention to the road!

3. Stop pretending that the AUTOMOBILE is going to … go away … if government simply refuses to build any more lanes or freeways. “If you DON’T build it, they WON’T come”. Look around IDIOT Legislators and Gov.’s !! Nobody is going to give up their automobile for BART trains that smell of homeless bodily functions. BUILD MORE ROADS.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Kenji
October 3, 2019 7:26 pm

My driver training and years of experience suggests otherwise.

October 3, 2019 2:34 am

“While the feature has the ability to stop the vehicle if it detects an obstacle, it’s still supposed to work with human input. The company told its users to use the feature only if they’re standing around 200 feet from the vehicle and have a clear line of sight. It also warned them to monitor their car and its surroundings at all times and to be “especially careful around quick moving people, bicycles and cars.” In case they do notice an obstacle, they can lift their finger from the Summon button and stop their car from moving before it causes any accident.”


There may be some “driver error” involved. The driver being the person summoning the car.

October 3, 2019 2:36 am

Looks like a kid just learning to drive


October 3, 2019 3:26 am


Anyone driving as badly as these Tesla’s are on a UK driving test would be failed on the spot.


Reply to  HotScot
October 3, 2019 2:59 pm

Wow, HotScot … I envy your Motor Vehicle Dept. for actually having standards.

Here in CA … you get a drivers license REGARDLESS. You can take the driving test in any one of 125 languages and dialects. Note: our road signs are all in English. Si se puede.

Flight Level
October 3, 2019 3:44 am

If Tesla ever makes an aircraft then stay underground until all units are written-off and properly disposed.

Reply to  Flight Level
October 3, 2019 5:07 am

sound advice.
I sure wouldnt want to be their early pilots on the spacejunk

Reply to  Flight Level
October 3, 2019 7:37 am

Good idea….except for the Musk tunnel boring business plan.

Better move to a safe distance like Mars….wait.

Okay, how about just Buffalo….dang.

October 3, 2019 4:05 am

I thought Smart Summon was a new mandatory feature for all cars in CA that monitors driver behavior while driving, and, when it detects a moving violation, it automatically sends a message to authorities that results in a summons to the driver to appear in court.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Nik
October 3, 2019 5:14 am

Don’t give them any ideas, Nik. 🙂

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Nik
October 3, 2019 9:26 am

Should be mandatory for motorcycles.

October 3, 2019 4:45 am

Elon demanded that the programmer that created these bugs be immediately fired. After spending all day searching for who was responsible it the source code logs showed Elon was the one who created the buggy code.

Roger Knights
October 3, 2019 5:04 am

It’s been speculated on the Seeking Alpha financial page for TSLAat https://seekingalpha.com/symbol/TSLA that the company released this days before the end of quarter so it can book some of the revenue it’s been paid for its Full Self Driving feature.

A few months ago about 10% of its AI staff wuwt, and its respected department head announced he would leave soon.

It was announced a few days ago that Tesla has acquired, in an all-stock deal, AI startup DeepScale. This perhaps is an act of desperation.

Many people have been “snowed” by AI hype. These Summon videos ought to disabuse them, where arguments have been unavailing. Here are links to some AI-skeptical articles (i have more):

Zero Fatalities is Zero Chance, Driverless Cars Myths vs Reality

Driverless Cars Need Emergency Vehicle Detection, It’s An Imperative

AI Nirvana is One-Shot Learning, Needed for AI Self-Driving Cars

Deadly Hand-off to Human Drivers in AI Self-Driving Cars, Gonna Hurt

Parallel Parking, AI Ho-Hum Challenge For Driverless Cars, But Maybe Not

Roadway Debris, Driverless Cars Watch Out!

Fooled You, How Driverless Car Road Trips Are Staged

Motorcycles Mixing With Driverless Cars, AI Must Be Bikers Savvy

Free-Will, Real Or Not, Humans and AI Might Need It, Driverless Cars Too

SAE Autonomous Vehicle Engineering Magazine – End Public Shadow/Safety Driving

Common Misconceptions about Aerospace/DoD/FAA Simulation for Autonomous Vehicles

MIT Research Debacle – Human Side of Tesla Autopilot: Exploration of Functional Vigilance in Real-World Human-Machine Collaboration

Elon Musk’s hype regarding “Autopilot” has now risen to Gross Negligence

LIDAR for AI Driverless Cars Is Essential, But Some Say Not!

Pedestrian Roadkill via AI Driverless Cars, Real Risks in Real World

Should Your Autonomous Car Be Imbued With Curiosity, That’s The Question

Driverless Cars Must Be Self-Aware, A Crucial Missing Ingredient
May 8 Dr. Lance Eliot, AI Insider

Tesla Robotaxis May Not Be The Gold Mine Musk Imagines

Reply to  Roger Knights
October 3, 2019 6:45 am

I would hate to be one of the programmers coming in to take over that mess.

John Endicott
Reply to  Stevek
October 3, 2019 7:41 am

I would hate to be any one involved in the program when the wrongful-death lawsuits start flying.

Reply to  Stevek
October 3, 2019 1:39 pm

Medusa code. One look will turn a grown man to stone.

October 3, 2019 5:28 am

nothing works right but so glad I paid for this….
that should be a meme

Reply to  dmacleo
October 3, 2019 7:29 am


Surely the psychologists can help explain this behavior.

Also, based on your description I think Ford or Fiat should buy out Tesla. It would be a great fit with either one.

October 3, 2019 5:46 am

As a side note, why does almost everyone record videos on their mobile phones at the wrong orientation? Your TV and monitor is in landscape orientation, yet people almost always record in portrait. Do the right thing and stop taking videos and pictures the wrong way!

John Endicott
Reply to  Wade
October 3, 2019 5:58 am

likely because people taking the videos are holding the phones in the same direction that they normally do when texting , making calls, and most other tasks rather than turn it a different direction to get the landscape effect.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Wade
October 3, 2019 7:14 am

Good question and good suggestion.

Reply to  Wade
October 3, 2019 9:55 am

This is called the Vertical Video Syndrome – VVS.

October 3, 2019 6:27 am

“Frugal Tesla Guy”?

October 3, 2019 7:11 am

Okay, Teslas might be worth it if they stood in line at the driver’s license office with teenagers and drove themselves back home to get more documents and drove the state police officer on the test drive segment around the testing center and attended drivers’ ed classes for insurance discounts and submitted other paperwork. Sign me up.

Roger Knights
October 3, 2019 8:00 am

NBC video: “Tesla Smart Summon feature is causing chaos in parking lots”

October 3, 2019 8:08 am



Another Shocker From China’s ‘Tesla Killer’

Chinese electric vehicle maker NIO is losing money on every car it sells and will soon need to raise more cash

October 3, 2019 8:42 am

Well,I really think AI replacing human drivers is still a few decades away (how can you program intuition?). I am more concerned about the idiots who want to kill the oil industry.

I have been looking for an expose’ that goes something like this:
“Think your Tesla frees you from oil? Think again. Here is a list of all the component parts of your Tesla made from oil:”

The following list would include everything from the insulation on the electrical wiring to the material used to pad the seats. I suspect the list would be quite lengthy. The summary sentence would be, “You may not need the oil for gasoline, but you need it for virtually everything else. Civilization depends on oil.

(note: I know that fossil fuels were used from mining to delivery, but the argument would be made that some miracle renewable could solve that. Substitutions for products derived from oil would present a far more difficult problem.)

If I could post info like that it may open a lot of eyes. Has anyone seen anything like what I’ve described?

Go Home
October 3, 2019 8:48 am

I would like to see a test of 50 Tesla’s in a busy parking garage, with all owners trying to summon at once. It would take 12 hours for the last idiot owner to get his car i would bet, and it would have too many dings from ‘regular’ people with tire irons taking swings at Tesla’s.

Tesla is a joke.

October 3, 2019 9:56 am

So what happens when Smart Summons doesn’t see that person???

October 3, 2019 11:29 am

There would be a great business opportunity in Tesla repair work but I don’t think the volume will be there and besides it’s a throwaway society thing of the rich anyway.

October 3, 2019 1:05 pm

Best way to avoid car crashes ?
Just assume everyone is gonna do something stupid, and avoid them 🙂
Experience really, really helps !!

October 3, 2019 1:45 pm

Guns kill people but AVs do not. It all depends on what side of populism you play and what ad consultants you employ.

October 3, 2019 1:46 pm

Could AVs be used to rob a bank and get away with it? I think I know what the Tesla owners would say.

October 3, 2019 3:10 pm

Big, dangerous toys for little boys and girls.
Just grow up and walk to the car!

Gunga Din
October 3, 2019 3:21 pm

Doesn’t Elon Musk warn us about the dangers of AI?
Is that because his cars are so stupid?

(I’ve resisted the temptation to say he was referring to certain members of the House of Representatives.)

Nicholas McGinley
October 3, 2019 5:23 pm

“Before we work on artificial intelligence, why don’t we do something about natural stupidity?”
– Steve Polyak

October 3, 2019 7:50 pm

How on earth are these half-assed toys allowed on public roads?

October 4, 2019 5:13 am
Steve Z
October 15, 2019 10:31 am

Self-driving cars without a human driver are just too dangerous to be trusted. They would most likely cause many more accidents per mile driven than even the most reckless of human drivers, whose licenses can be suspended after too many accidents, while what happens to reckless robots?

There are far too many obstacles on busy roads that a robot cannot be depended on to avoid. For example, what about an intersection where a STOP sign has been partially obscured by vegetation? A human driver who knows the intersection (or has been there in winter) will stop, but what if the robot doesn’t detect the stop sign and blasts straight through into traffic?

Or what about an intersection with traffic lights? Can a robot distinguish between the traffic light for a left-turn lane and the light to go straight through the intersection? Or what if the sun is directly behind the traffic light? A human driver will lower the sun visor to try to make out the color of the traffic light, and/or will check whether cross traffic is stopped, but could a robot detect the relatively weak colored light from the traffic light in the much brighter light from the sun, which includes light in the red, yellow, and green wavelengths?

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