Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been promising some major improvements to Tesla Autopilot’s Summon feature in recent weeks.
Now he has announced a new update coming in “~6 weeks” that will enable Tesla owners to remotely control their car through their phones “like RC cars”.
Ever since the introduction of Tesla’s second generation Autopilot hardware, the automaker has been promising the release of new features under an ‘Enhanced Autopilot’ package that it has been selling for $5,000.
Among those new features, Tesla has been talking about ‘Smart Summon’:With Smart Summon, your car will navigate more complex environments and parking spaces, maneuvering around objects as necessary to come find you.
The rollout of those new ‘Enhanced Autopilot’ features has been extremely delayed over the past 2 years, but now the company is moving forward with some of them after deploying a new neural net.
Musk announced last night that Smart Summon, or now ‘Advanced Summon’, is going to be ready in about 6 weeks:
The CEO said that it will enable Tesla vehicles to “drive to your phone location and follow you like a pet if you hold down summon button on the Tesla app.”
It appears to be a different update than the one announced yesterday about Tesla’s next-gen Summon feature being able to find parking spots and read instruction signs. That update is expected next year.
In the newly announced update coming next month, Musk even says that owners will be able to control their cars like RC cars through their phones:
Musk added that they could make the feature work from long distances, but the line of sight requirement is for safety.
I expect the remote control car feature to have a speed limit. Otherwise, we could see some kind of remote-controlled Tesla racing events.
As for the rest of the update, it’s unclear how much more useful it will be than the current version of Summon.
Remote control aside, it sounds like it will simply be able to navigate more complex environments than simply moving forward or back by a few feet like it currently does.
The good news is now with On Ramp/Off Ramp rolling out, at least in a limited version, and now Smart Summon, it looks like Enhanced Autopilot features promised two years ago are finally becoming a reality.