woman clicks 'Go to Target' on Tesla's 'summon' feature

@camiwampus/TikTok Kittyfly/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Miss a payment and watch it drive away from your home’: Viewers disturbed when woman clicks ‘Go to Target’ on Tesla’s ‘summon’ feature

'No Thanks, I’ll keep my paid off Toyota!"


Beau Paul


Posted on Apr 25, 2024   Updated on Apr 26, 2024, 1:55 pm CDT

Are Tesla owners living in the future? Or is the Summon feature—which allows the electric vehicle to drive directly to you—a sign that we may soon be bowing down to AI overlords?

Released in late September of 2019, the Summon feature “allows you to automatically park and retrieve Model 3 while you are standing outside the vehicle. Summon moves Model 3 forward and reverse up to 12 meters in, or out of, a parking space” according to the company’s website.

It seems like a boon to a tired shopper who wants to get in and out of a parking lot as soon as possible. But is the convenience worth it?

TikToker Cami (@camiwampus) demonstrated the feature in a now-viral TikTok video she posted on Monday. The video shows Cami and her husband “summoning” their Tesla from several meters away to come and meet them. The video has amassed an impressive 2.5 million views so far.

However, looking at the video’s comments section, it’s clear not everyone is convinced the curbside service is worth it.

Summon is part of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) driver assistant software package, which runs from $8,000 to $12,000 for U.S. customers, according to Fox News. Cami states, “We just paid for full self-driving” early in the video.

“We just got finished eating at my husband’s favorite restaurant, and we’re going to … summon [our Tesla] to come pick us up,” she tells her viewers.

In the video, the first Summon appears ineffectual, but Cami and her husband soon figure out the problem.

“We found out that you had to, like, click ‘go to target’ [on the vehicle’s device app] and look! It’s going. That’s our car,” she says.

The vehicle is shown backing out of its parking space, driverless, and coming to pick up the pair where they are filming.

“That’s nuts,” she exclaims. “It’s kind of nerve-wracking. Look, there’s nobody in there!”

The vehicle stops several feet away from them, and then Cami is shown entering it.

“Nobody was in there!” she shouts.

@camiwampus #tesla #autopilot #summon #auto #fsd #self #driving #datenight #model3 #redfort #geekout #selfdriving @Mike D ♬ original sound – Cami

Timothy B. Lee, writing for Ars Technica, claims to have watched “more than 100 YouTube videos of people testing out Smart Summon.” Lee says the feature “mostly works, but it has a lot of room for improvement.”

According to Lee, “If software understands its surroundings well, it should be able to chart a smooth, direct path to its destination. But Smart Summon can get confused when confronted with even moderately complicated situations.”

Lee states that one car that was using the feature “drove all the way to one end of the lower parking lot, then turned around and drove back to the other end, drifting into empty parking spots as it went. Then it turned onto the road that connected to the upper parking spot, but it took the turn too tightly and drove up onto the shallow curb.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Tesla via email for a statement.

Most of the viewers of Cami’s video seemed dubious of the new technology.

One viewer wrote, “It takes longer to do that than to just walk to the car.”

“Meanwhile, I’ve already walked to my ’98 Honda Prelude, got in and am on the way home,” wrote John Barnett (@lockeddownhippy).

Another viewer warned, “Careful using it. 2 different friends have had theirs back out & hit cars while using it. And both were found at fault.”

Other viewers were convinced the tech would make things easier for repossession workers—or make them obsolete.

“Miss a payment and watch it drive away from your home,” wrote Kenny4 (@saysojoe).

Another viewer simply added, “Wait til it drives off without you.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Cami via TikTok direct message for more information.

Update 1:55pm CT, April 26: In a message to the Daily Dot, Cami shared that Summon was “fun” to try out, and she’s enjoying her Tesla.

“It’s amazing where we are with all the technological advancements, but I don’t think the summon feature is very helpful just yet,” she continued. “I’ve heard you can be within 200 feet to summon your car, but we had to get much closer than that for it to work, and it took a long time to pick us up.”

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*First Published: Apr 25, 2024, 5:00 pm CDT