That’s going to be a fun insurance claim!
One of the top reasons people buy Teslas is to have at their fingertips some of the latest automotive technologies. The thing about these fancy toys is they don’t always work exactly as designed. That’s especially true of Smart Summon, something a Tesla owner learned the hard way recently as the all-electric SUV hit a $3.5 million jet.
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A video shows a summoned Tesla navigating on a tarmac when the sensors fail to recognize the tail of a Vision jet, which it then hits. While the EV wasn’t going fast at the time of the collision, it still might have done some serious damage to a critical part of the aircraft. It also isn’t clear if the Tesla was damaged in the accident.
Smart Summon is still a beta feature, meaning Tesla hasn’t worked out all of the bugs. The automaker warns owners about this in the owner’s manual, saying the feature “may not stop for all objects (especially… very high objects such as a shelf) and may not react to traffic.” Its purpose is to allow the driver to provide their GPS coordinates to the vehicle, making walking to the Tesla in a parking lot unnecessary.
While Smart Summon sure is a neat trick, most people could stand to do a little more walking every day. Yes, there are people who have disabilities who might find this feature very useful, but handicap parking spots exist for that express purpose.
Anyway, the Tesla owner probably regretted using Smart Summon in this situation. They also probably didn’t read the owner’s manual, which spells out how the sensors might not detect objects up high, like the tail of a jet. If they were trying to show off to everyone at the airport by demonstrating how much more advanced their car is, well it was a huge failure. Check out the video for yourself.