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Watchdog Brings Up Safety Concerns Tied to Tesla’s New App

Many consumers were excited about Tesla’s new feature known as Summon, a system that allows the Model S sedan to drive itself up to 33 feet at slow speeds. This feature was developed to help the vehicle enter or leave a narrow parking spot. Summon was designed to be used when the vehicle is not occupied. For Summon to work, the driver must stand 10 feet away from the vehicle. The Tesla Version 7.1 software update already included the new system. When it was launched, all Model S vehicles were updated wirelessly.

When Consumer Reports’ Model S was updated, the watchdog group decided to test the new system.

During their trials, researchers found that the system was useful. But because the system also allowed the vehicle to be involved in minor collisions while moving at slow speeds, Consumer Reports decided to reach out to Tesla to discuss the researchers’ concerns.

According to researchers, a user may not be able to stop the vehicle or change its direction promptly in an emergency while using Summon. If that occurs, a collision may occur.

Consumer Reports claimed that while testing the app on an iPhone, they found it to be somewhat glitchy. Researchers also said that when they closed the app while the car was in motion, the car continued to move on its own. Researchers argue that this scenario is not unlikely to happen, making the case that Tesla should work on the app and system as a whole to make sure this issue wouldn’t present a crash risk to car owners.

In one of the tests, the vehicle experienced wheel damage because the tester was unable to stop the vehicle in time. While the system is not designed to be used without the supervision of a driver, Consumer Reports researchers say that the system should have a backup plan to keep it from crashing in case the driver is not able to stop the vehicle in time.

Tesla has announced that its engineers looked at the issues presented by Consumer Reports and that they had worked on a fix. A new software upgrade will be made available promptly to make sure that accidents won’t happen if the driver is not able to stop the vehicle in time.

If you would like to know more about how Consumer Reports carried out their tests and what Tesla had to say about the issued spotted by the group, follow this link for the full report.

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