Tesla’s Smart Summon Currently Just a ‘Fun Trick’ Says Elon Musk

Image: Tesla

Replying to a tweet from someone who recently got Full Self-Driving (FSD) on their Tesla and hadn’t figured out Smart Summon yet, Tesla CEO Elon Musk talked about the feature, which is one of many the EV maker offers under the FSD umbrella (and also as part of the Enhanced Autopilot upgrade it used to sell on and off).

Right now, “Summon is sometimes useful, but mostly just a fun trick,” admitted Musk. Smart Summon allows Tesla owners to have their car autonomously park itself or beckon their car to them from its parking spot via the Tesla app or their key fob.

It’s definitely a neat feature for when you have to park in a narrow spot or when you simply want to flex your car’s capabilities, but it’s far from the vision Musk has for it.

In its current state, Summon works by having specific examples of parking lots and parking scenarios modeled after real-life situations coded into it and learning from them, much like autonomous highway driving on Teslas and far from expansive.

“Once we move summon (plus highway driving) to a single FSD stack, it will be sublime,” added Musk.

The Tesla CEO is most likely talking about handing both Smart Summon and autonomous highway driving over to a neural net that can adapt and instruct itself after extrapolating basic guidelines from a set of pre-coded parameters (such as “don’t crash” and “reach destination”, in oversimplified terms).

Tesla has already been working hard to improve Smart Summon, but taking it all the way up to Autosteer levels of intuition could be the key to turning an oft-used feature into the go-to way people park their cars.

In addition to a one-time upgrade for $10,000 USD (although an imminent price hike is rumored), Tesla now also offers Full Self-Driving Capability as a monthly subscription in the US.