More details of the much-anticipated update of Tesla’s autopilot system have surfaced, with confirmation that Tesla owners will be able to “summon” their electric cars from private car parks and driveways from up to 65 metres away.
Release notes for Tesla’s V10 Autopilot leaked on Monday caused a great deal of excitement amongst fans of the ground-breaking electric vehicle maker, but there was one big omission – the future of Smart Summon, otherwise known as Enhanced Summon.
CEO and co-founder Elon Musk said in July that the V10 updated would include Smart Summon and is now currently in roll out to Early Release Program (EAP) participants.
Details have now finally surfaced via Twitter user @Tesletter of “Enhanced Summon”, which will mean that Tesla drivers can summon their vehicle in a private carpark or driveway from as far away as 65 metres.
v10 Early Release includes Enhanced Summon for those with the FSD Processor (HW3). Here are the release notes. pic.twitter.com/yvpGf1ydrr
— Tesletter (@tesletter) September 18, 2019
The full text goes as follows:
Enhanced Summon is designed to allow your car to drive you (using your phone’s GPS as a target destination) or a location of your choosing, maneuvering around and stopping for objects as necessary. Enhanced Summon works in conjunction with your Tesla mobile app, so your phone must be within approximately 65 meters (213 feet) of your car.
To access the feature in your Tesla mobile app, tap Summon then tap the Enhanced Summon icon. TO activte Enhanced Summon, press and hold COME TO ME button. Alternatively tap the target icon, set the target destination of your choice by adjusting the map, and then press and hold the GO TO TARGET button. You can stop your car from driving at any time by releasing the button.
To reduce the time it takes for Enhanced Summon to warm up, you can keep your car ready by enabling Summon Standby Mode by going to Controls > Autopilot > Standby Mode. If selected ON, you can exclude Home, Work and/or your Favourite places be selecting checkboxes. If a location is selected, Standby Mode will be disabled when your car is parked near those locations.
Additionally, Enhanced Summon also integrated the HomeLink and can, for example, open your garage door and drive your car out of your garage at the press of a button. Like Summon, Enhanced Summon is only intended for use in private parking lots and driveways. You are still responsible for your car and must monitor it and its surroundings at all time within your line of sight.
Note: To use Enhanced Summon, download the latest version of the Tesla mobile app (3.9.1 or later), enable GPS on your phone, and ensure you have cell service. Enhanced Summon will stop driving if cellular service or connectivity is lost. Enhanced Summon may require additional camera calibration.
Unfortunately, it does not seem at this stage that it is the full “your car can find a space in a car park and park itself” shebang that Musk promised in November 2018. But, then again, 2019 isn’t over yet.
At the time, Musk said: “By next year, a Tesla should be able to drive around a parking lot, find an empty spot, read signs to confirm it’s valid & park.”
What has been confirmed though by Musk today (well, in the early hours of this morning, Australian time) is that “Smart Summon” will not only work with cars that have V3.0 hardware, but also older models with V2.0+ hardware.
“Smart” Summon will work on all v2.0+ hardware in wide release
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 18, 2019
Given the confusion between the terms “Enhanced” and “Smart”, it’s not entirely clear if Musk means the ability to find a park will be included in the wide release – one would imagine that this would also be rolled out in the EAP.
We have reached out to Tesla for confirmation on this and will let you know if confirmation is received.
Meanwhile, stand by for another increase in pricing – this time for Full Self Driving, the pricing for which is expected to increase once Smart Summon is released.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.