It's now possible to crash your car without even being inside it. Videos posted to social media show Tesla vehicles involved in accidents or near misses while using the new Smart Summon feature, which directs a vehicle to drive itself to the owner's location.
One owner's Model 3 was struck by a car backing out of a parking spot and sustained front bumper damage. The owner shared two videos on Twitter of the incident, one from the Model 3 dashboard and one from his phone.
Smart Summon drew criticism from an influential traffic safety advocate.
"The summon feature — when it works — is a nifty bit of technology, but doesn't come close to the type of autonomy that we all hope will dramatically reduce car crashes and fatalities," Jason Levine, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety, said in an email to Automotive News. "If anything, by doubling down on terms like 'enhanced autopilot' Tesla is only increasing the chances of misuse leading to injury and more deaths."
Tesla included a warning about Smart Summon in notes about the software update, saying owners are still responsible for their vehicles when using the feature.
Another owner's video showed a near collision when a Model 3 almost pulled across a lane of traffic, prompting an oncoming driver to slam on the brakes.
A photo showing damage to a Model 3 appeared in a tweet by an owner who wrote that the feature "isn't safe or production ready."
"Tried in my empty driveway," the owner tweeted. "Car went forward and ran into the side of garage. Love the car but saddened."