A Tesla vehicle was seen crashing into a $3.5 million worth jet at a Cirrus event at Spokane’s Felts Field airport. The video shared from the security cameras was shared. It appears that the owner was not paying attention to the driving, despite Tesla clearly stating that the driver must always be attentive. It was evident that the vehicle was heading toward hitting the jet, however, the vehicle driver didn’t stop the car.
Smart Summon builds on Tesla’s previous “Summon” feature, which was used by owners to move their cars autonomously for a few feet in their driveway or in tight parking situations. With the new version, owners are able to Summon their Tesla vehicles from further away, and the cars will navigate more complex parking environments. CEO Elon Musk described Smart Summon as “Tesla’s most viral feature.” A few weeks after the release, it had already been used over 550,000 times and several Tesla owners posted videos of their vehicles being involved in crashes and near misses while testing the new Smart Summon feature.
It is primarily used to have your car drive back “autonomously” to you from where you parked it in a parking lot. In some ways, it was the first truly “self-driving” feature for Tesla, since it could be used without anyone in the car. But like any of Tesla’s Autopilot features or Full Self-Driving Beta, owners need to stay attentive at all times, and be ready to take control; we got an extreme example of why this is the case as a Tesla vehicle crashed into a jet of all things.
The Reddit user who allegedly filmed the incident expressed shock at “the poor soul” responsible for the accident. “I was at an event for the aircraft manufacturer Cirrus,” the Redditor wrote. “I also drive a Tesla Model Y – but was not the poor soul (with poor decision-making abilities) who summoned his Tesla around several expensive aircraft – only to crash it into the most expensive one ($3,500,000)! Woof.”
The incident would not be the first involving Tesla’s Smart Summon function, which allows the vehicle to use its self-driving technology to leave a parking spot and drive around obstacles until it reaches its owner. As noted by The Verge, numerous Tesla owners reported both close-calls and fender-benders after the feature was introduced in 2019. In the past, Tesla vehicles on Autopilot have had difficulties detecting objects that are lifted off the ground, like a semi-trailer, which can be similar to the back of an airplane.