It’s no secret that Tesla’s Smart Summon feature is far from perfect, but Consumer Reports decided to put it to the test on their Model 3. Unsurprisingly, they weren’t impressed with the results.
In a scathing review, the publication said the feature is “glitchy and at times worked intermittently, without a lot of obvious benefits for consumers.”
If that wasn’t bad enough, the group’s senior director of auto testing, Jake Fisher, described Smart Summon as “a kind of science experiment” that’s a “work in progress.” He also slammed the company for releasing a feature that wasn’t fully tested and ready to be deployed.
— Roddie Hasan – راضي (@eiddor) September 28, 2019
While the feature did work on occasion, Consumer Reports noted multiple problems including the car mistakenly believing it was on a public road and not in a parking lot. As a result, it “shut itself down.”
Even when the system did work, the Model 3 would suddenly stop for no apparent reason. The car also moved very slowly in parking lots and didn’t always stay on the right side of the aisle. In particular, the publication said it “would wander left and right as it drove – erratically, like a drunken or distracted driver.”
Speaking of acting like a drunk, the car drove the wrong way down a one-way lane. This forced a tester to run out to the car and move it.
These issues are pretty troubling and Consumer Report’s senior policy analyst, Ethan Douglas, said “Tesla should stop beta-testing its cars on the general public by pushing out experimental features before they’re ready.”
As we have previously reported, a number of Tesla owners have already reported accidents while using the Smart Summon feature. This has pushed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to look into the issue, but it’s troubling such a half-baked feature was released in the first place.