Tesla owner braves fast food Drive-thru in Smart Summon test

Credit: YouTube/BackseatBaller

Tesla’s Smart Summon feature has conquered thunderstorms to pick up a family, snow-covered roads, and crowded parking lots successfully. But this time around, the popular Full Self-Driving feature may be facing its toughest test yet — a fast-food drive-thru.

Mark Bianco of the BackseatBaller YouTube channel tested his Model 3’s ability to navigate through his local A&W’s drive-thru lane. Bianco chose a less crowded restaurant to test the feature to increase the safety of those around him. After all, he did not know how Smart Summon would operate in a tight setting like a drive-thru lane.

Interestingly enough, the satellite map in the Tesla app where Bianco attempted to operate the feature was not updated and showed an empty field where the restaurant was located. This contrasts with the Model 3’s display, which clearly showed the A&W outlet.

Bianco kept his reputation as the “Backseat Baller” intact as he operated the vehicle from the rear seat. The car slowly approached the speaker of the drive-thru, where Bianco ordered a meal successfully and managed to navigate the vehicle toward the second window where the food was set to be picked up.

The vehicle was a far distance away from the window and it actually required Bianco to get out of the vehicle and pick the food up from the window himself. This was a result of the vehicle’s forward cameras, radar, and range proximity sensors recognizing a curb shortly ahead of the pick-up window. The car was prepared for this turn and as a result, it distanced itself a bit too far from the window.

Even with the distance from the window, Smart Summon’s performance in this test was quite successful. It managed to navigate through the thin and narrow drive-thru lane, stop at each window with ease, and allowed Bianco to retrieve his food safely. While Summon is really aimed at bringing a car to an owner when they are leaving a store or shop, this unorthodox use allows people to see what the feature is really capable of.

Smart Summon was released in the United States in September with the Version 10 update. Since its initial rollout to EAP members, the feature has received both compliments and criticisms from large publications, but real-world users seem to enjoy the benefits of the feature. Tesla rolled out the feature in Canada shortly after its U.S. release, and in China just before Christmas 2019.

You can watch Mark Bianco’s video of his Model 3 navigating an A&W drive-thru below.

Joey Klender: Writer covering Tesla, Elon Musk and other EVs. Penn State Alum, Environmentalist, Mixed Martial Arts fanatic, Washington Capitals' biggest fan, and poker player. Inspired by Elon Musk.
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