Tesla owner Smart Summons Model 3 across a snow covered parking lot

Credit: YouTube/Daniel Spalding

A Tesla Model 3 owner demonstrated his vehicle’s ability to “Smart Summon” across a snow-covered parking lot and it performed flawlessly. The video posted to Youtube is one of the first instances of Smart Summon being used in conditions where minimal visual indicators exist for the vehicle’s Autopilot suite of sensors.

YouTuber Daniel Spalding navigated his Red Multi-Coat Model 3 to his location using the Tesla App and Smart Summon’s “COME TO ME” feature. The demonstration showed the Model 3 carefully navigating toward Spalding’s location, giving the impression that the vehicle may have recognized the pathway in spite of the poor visibility.

The vehicle traveled at a controlled pace of 1 MPH, a slow but extremely safe pace considering the road conditions. In addition to this, the vehicle did not have any guidance from road lines are parking spots to maneuver, proving the software of Smart Summon does not need direct assistance from already painted street indicators to operate in a safe manner.

Spalding threw another wrench into the test by moving around the parking lot even more to confuse his Model 3. The car changed its destination and followed Spalding around without any issues, proving the vehicle was able to adapt to adjustments to the final location being summoned to.

Smart Summon is arguably Tesla’s most polarizing vehicle feature. While many owners are impressed with the performance and have demonstrated examples of how the feature has benefitted them, others have criticized the feature as “glitchy”, working intermittently, and with questionable benefits for consumers in its current state.

Smart Summon was released in late September with the V10 update and included Smart Summon and numerous entertainment features, such as Cuphead – Tesla Edition, Caraoke, Joe Mode, and “I’m Feeling Lucky.” During the company’s Q3 earnings call, CEO Elon Musk noted Smart Summon had been used by Tesla owners over 1 million times. Tesla would then use this data to improve upon the software. While it is not known how many times the feature has been used now, Musk said the Tesla owners were the reason the feature had been so successful. Musk said, “…this really illustrates the value of having a massive fleet, because it allows us to collect these corner cases and learn from them.”

Watch Daniel Spalding’s Smart Summon snow test 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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