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Tesla updates ‘Summon’ autopilot app after consumer reports raises security issues

Published: February 11,2016

Early this year, Tesla 7.1 software introduced an array of new Autopilot features to further enhance the convenience and safety of the driving experience. While many of these features move the ball forward toward a safer autonomous future, none is more significant than the remote parking technology known as Summon.

After the consumers report raising a question on the safety feature of the software, Tesla has updated it.

tesla summonUsing Summon, once you arrive home and exit Model S or Model X, the consumer can prompt it to do the rest: open the garage door, enter the garage, park it, and shut down. More broadly, Summon also eliminates the burden of having to squeeze in and out of tight parking spots. Eventually, the Tesla will be able to drive anywhere across the country, charging itself along the way. It will sync with the calendar to know exactly when to arrive.

To use Summon, a driver presses a button on the key fob to get the car moving (albeit, again, at a very slow speed). To stop, the driver presses the button again. However, if the key was dropped (or the iPhone app was accidentally closed) or the driver presses the wrong button, the car could continue to move on its own.

The car would stop on its own if it encountered a curb or if someone touched the door handle, but it was still an unnecessary risk. So, Tesla has updated the feature to be a “dead-man’s switch” — in order to make the car move, the driver now needs to physically hold down the button to make the car move. Let go and the car stops.

Source: Tesla, Consumer reports

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