Tesla began to roll out Smart Summon as part of a software update at the end of September. CR has declared Tesla's Smart Summon feature "glitchy" after several days of testing both at its own facility and in parking lots.
Some owners reported that their Tesla's didn't perform the summon maneuver that well. One posted a video of a Tesla striking a garage wall and another of a Tesla being struck by a vehicle backing up. Other Tesla drivers said their vehicle hit other vehicles while some reported near-miss accidents and other odd driving behavior causing traffic jams in parking lots.
"Consumers are not getting fully tested, consumer-ready technology", Jake Fisher, senior director of auto testing at the magazine said https://www.consumerreports.org/hybrids-evs/teslas-smart-summon-performance-doesnt-match-marketing-hype in a report on Tuesday. "What consumers are really getting is the chance to participate in a kind of science experiment", he said.
The Smart Summon feature works when the vehicle is within 200 feet and in line of sight. Sometimes, the feature directed the publication's Model 3 sedan to drive in the middle of a lane in a parking lot, rather than on the side of the lane closest to the parked cars, or steer erratically, "like a drunken or distracted driver". The summon feature was created to make its easier for a driver that might be carrying groceries after a shopping trip or when its raining outside.
Consumer Reports and Tesla have had a rocky relationship over the years, and it doesn't look like they're about to patch things up any time soon.
Smart Summon did work as intended in some circumstances, Consumer Reports said, and drove conservatively, which the publication said had positive implications for safety.
The company stressed that drivers are responsible for their cars vehicle and must monitor it and its surroundings at all times, adding that driver should be extra vigilant around pedestrians, bicycles and cars.