Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised in a series of tweets that an advanced version of its auto-parking technology Summon, which will let owners remotely control their car through their phones, will be ready in six weeks. Or even follow you like a pet.
The Summon parking feature is available in Tesla vehicles with the advanced driver assistance system known as Autopilot or the upgraded version called “enhanced Autopilot.”
In a separate set of tweets that appear to be unrelated from the upgrade coming next month, Musk said by next year Summon should be able to drive a Tesla around a parking lot, find an empty spot and read signs to confirms it’s valid and park.
Summon is an auto-parking technology that lets Tesla owners park or retrieve their vehicles by using the Tesla mobile app or key fob. The company introduced Summon way back in January 2016 in its 7.1 software update for its hardware 1-equipped vehicles. At the time, the capability was rather limited, essentially allowing owners to prompt a parked Tesla to roll out of a garage or parking space. An owner standing outside of the vehicle could also hit a button and have it roll into the parking spot.
It certainly wasn’t capable of autonomously driving through a parking garage until it found an empty space.
In October 2016, Tesla began producing hardware 2 vehicles equipped with a more robust suite of sensors, radar and cameras that Musk said would deliver new levels of capability and eventually drive autonomously. Summon was just one feature that would become more capable as a result.
That goal has taken much longer than expected as the company has worked for years to develop its own vision system that relies on image processing via an onboard neural net for object identification and avoidance.